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What to Eat Before These 5 Important Wedding Events

No matter your shape, size, schedule or wedding style, every bride deserves to look and feel absolutely incredible, from the inside out. Ever wonder what you should eat to reduce bloating before dress shopping or a fitting? What about the best foods to promote glowing skin and silky, bridal-ready hair? We went to two nutritionists—Amy Gannon, program manager and chief coach of eCoaching at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, and Robyn Youkilis, author of Go With Your Gut—for expert advice on what to eat, and what to avoid, before five important events leading up to “I do.”

Wedding Dress Shopping

The Goal: To look and feel naturally bloat free.

You want to embody the best, most natural version of yourself on your wedding day. To achieve that goal, you should start your wedding dress search feeling that way too.

Steer Clear of Sodium

A great way to reduce bloating is to monitor your sodium intake. Any prepared or processed foods contain a ton of sodium. Gannon says 75 percent of sodium intake in the US comes from packaged and restaurant food—whoa. Definitely watch out for this and be extra careful when unwrapping a snack or ordering at a restaurant. Shoot for the most simply prepared, least processed foods, and try to cook for yourself as often as you can.

Fiber Fix

When it comes to fiber in your diet, Gannon suggests taking the Goldilocks approach: too much and you’ll end up bloated and uncomfortable; but too little and you’ll feel blocked up and bloated (it’s not pretty, but it’s true). So before trying on dresses, heed Gannon’s note: “Instead of a heaping bowl of bran cereal, which could be too much fiber at once, opt for low-fat Greek yogurt with berries for the right mix of lean protein and fiber.”

Probiotic Power

Probiotics stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut for healthy digestion. Fermented foods (Youkilis loves sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir and yogurt) are full of quality probiotics to help curb cravings, keep your digestive system on track, and guard you from feeling bloated and sluggish after meals.

Chew, Chew

Don’t knock this super simple tip before you try it. Youkilis claims this one change in your eating habits can completely transform your relationship with food. The fact is, your stomach can’t chew on it’s own (that’s why we have teeth!). So any food that isn’t thoroughly chewed can’t actually be digested, which causes bloating, weight gain and inflammation. “Chew your food until it’s liquid to feel full for longer and keep your stomach flatter. You’ll be skipping around from all the energy without a single diet change!” Youkilis says.

Wedding Dress Fittings

The Goal: To maintain your weight and shape from your previous fittings (and avoid having to undergo severe dress alterations).

Slow and Steady

If you want to slim down and stay trim, you have to go about it in a healthy, balanced, gradual and sustainable way, Gannon says. That means no crazy crash diets that severely limit or cut out entire food groups. Even if one of those drastic diets does work at first, it could only cause rapid weight loss that you can’t maintain (in fact, many people gain weight after the initial, rapid drop due to eventual binge eating and the inability to sustain such a severely restricted diet). For a bride-to-be, a fiasco like this could mean thousands of dollars in dress alterations if you lose, or regain, a lot of weight between fittings.

The Whole Picture

So, if you’re really serious about shedding some weight before your date, you should approach it as a more holistic lifestyle change. Don’t panic—it sounds scary and drastic, but it’s really about the combination of many small, subtle changes in order to achieve a larger goal. First, start early—gradual is best. “Focus on balanced meals with lean proteins, healthy fats and quality carbohydrates,” Gannon says. ” whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, chicken, fish, avocados, oatmeal, quinoa and plain, low-fat dairy.”

Five Foods Rule

To help maintain weight between fittings, follow Youkilis’s handy Rule of Five: Eat a maximum of five different foods at each given meal. This method helps you avoid the troublesome trap of complicating and overcrowding your meals with too many things. You don’t need a salad with dozens of body-friendly toppings—that’s too much clutter, even if all the ingredients are good for you on their own. Chill out and focus on eating a balanced meal or snack with no more than five major ingredients (oil, herbs and spices don’t count).

Two-Minute Test

One great way to curb junk food cravings and stay lean is Youkilis’s Two-Minute Rule, which is just as simple as it sounds. Want that leftover doughnut from the office party? Wait—set a timer (on your phone, for example) for two minutes. Consider what you’re really craving. Maybe you’d be satisfied with a cup of hot green tea or a few gulps of water. If when the two minutes is up, you still can’t stop thinking about that treat, go ahead and have some. “It’s likely though, in those two minutes, the craving will disappear, or you’ll be able to decide on a better-for-you alternative,” Youkilis says.

Engagement Photo Shoot

The Goal: To energize and promote both clear skin and a healthy, natural, camera-ready glow.

Inside, Outside

Keep nutrient-rich foods—full of antioxidants, phytochemicals and healthy fats—in your meal wheelhouse to support healthy, clear skin. Fresh fruits and veggies are always an awesome go-to, as they’re full of these nutrients and water (which we’ll get to in a minute). Gannon recommends choosing produce like oranges, bell peppers, broccoli and cantaloupe that have tons of vitamin C (important for collagen production for healthy skin and tissues). Foods like salmon, sardines, walnuts and flaxseeds offer omega-3s, which are anti-inflammatory and can benefit skin too.

Fat City

“Our bodies need fat to help us feel full and metabolize the nutrients we receive from food we eat,” Youkilis says. “Bonus: Healthy fats are wonderful for your hair, skin and nails, so you’ll have a natural, camera-ready glow.” Now, by no means is this the go-ahead for you to nosh on french fries at every meal—choose good (unsaturated) fats from quality sources, and don’t overdo it. Look to natural, healthy fat sources like olives, avocado, fatty fish (think: salmon, tuna and mackerel), coconut and whole eggs.

Drink Up

“Hydrated skin is glowing skin and water does it all,” says Youkilis, who advises filtered water for optimal hydration. Start your day with a tall glass of water, then continue to drink throughout the day (you’ll want about eight eight-ounce glasses per day). If you’re bored of plain old water, feel free to zest things up. Add anything from fresh citrus juice and slices to mint leaves and cucumbers—you’re the mixologist. Staying properly hydrated is one of the simplest, most effective ways to achieve inner cleanliness and outer radiance.

Bachelorette Party

The Goal Before: To eat and hydrate well so you can bounce back from late-night festivities.

The Goal After: To detox post-party if the food and drinks are super indulgent.

Alcohol Alternate

Let’s be real—a night out with your bridal party will probably involve several rounds of cocktails. But if you’re worried about all that alcohol, a great way to manage how yucky you feel the next day is to alternate alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic drinks. Likewise, Gannon suggests other easy tips: “Drink water before, during and after you go out; try a wine spritzer or other drink that replaces some of the alcohol with water; and have a balanced meal with a good protein source before your night.” Don’t worry, this last tip won’t hinder you from feeling nice and buzzed—it’ll just slow the absorption of alcohol into your system (which is a nicer way to get the job done).

Morning Flush

First things first: Start the next day with a big glass of water to rehydrate and get things flowing. “I would also recommend a squeeze of lemon to stimulate your digestive system to help flush out anything left over from the night before,” Youkilis says.

Indulgent Detox

If you’re doing brunch the next day, opt for fare that feels rich and satisfying, but that’s still packed with the good stuff (aka skip the double bacon, egg and cheese—sorry!). “An omelet topped with sliced avocado, whole-grain pancakes with diced fruit, or veggie hash with sweet potatoes and eggs can be satisfying and help you bounce back after a night out,” Gannon says. How could you say no to a post-party menu like that?

Green and Clean

We know—the first thing you crave after a night of tequila shooters probably isn’t a bowl of spinach and kale. But just hear Youkilis out: “Greens naturally detoxify your liver, blood and respiratory system and are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They also contain tons of fiber and beautiful chlorophyll. Add healthy fats like avocado or olive oil to maximize nutrient absorption.” So, if you’re up for it, add these power greens where you can: in an omelette, a green smoothie or a big, satisfying salad for lunch or dinner.

Wedding Day

The Goal: To be bloat free so your dress looks and feels perfect; to reduce stress and promote a calm, blissful state (there’s no time for a last-minute bridezilla).

Revenge of the Nerves

Gannon says a common issue for brides is inadvertently skipping meals due to jitters and a hectic schedule. “Don’t let nerves and stress keep you from getting enough nutrients and water throughout the week . Carry a bottle of water with you and pack extra snacks to be prepared,” Gannon says. Another great way to keep stress at bay is with regular exercise (which, of course, also helps maintain a lean figure).

Familiar Ways

The day before and the day of your wedding, go with what you know. Avoid trying something new or exotic that might have a weird effect on your system. If you’re at your rehearsal dinner, you’ll have a say in the menu, so plan the meal with your next-day body in mind. Include lean, grilled protein, brown rice and veggies that will give you an optimal balance of nutrients and usually sits well in your stomach. Gannon recommends the same approach on the day of, saying to stick with your go-to breakfast, whether it’s toast with peanut butter, eggs or a smoothie.

Soul Food

Just as important as what you put into your belly is what you do for your psyche. Carve out some “me time,” whether it’s an hour-long workout, a five-minute meditation session or simply enjoying a cup of tea in your favorite chair. Here are some more meditative activities Youkilis loves that’ll help you feel calm and connected on one of the busiest, most exciting days of your life:

  • Journaling (in the morning or at night)
  • Taking three to five deep breaths
  • Drinking a cup of tea or water with lemon and ginger without distraction
  • Dancing to your favorite song
  • Playing with pets
  • Taking a bath
  • Lying or sitting in silence for five minutes

Want more prewedding wellness tips? Adopt these nine habits before your wedding to feel your best walking down the aisle.

It’s only natural to want to look and feel your absolute best on your wedding day — it is your special day, after all. Part of achieving that dream is putting your nutrition at the top of your to-do list (along with finding a honeymoon swimsuit and getting a relaxing prewedding massage). What isn’t natural is taking your diet to the extreme with the hopes of attaining a certain look for your wedding. POPSUGAR turned to Jessica Beacom, RDN, and Stacie Hassing, RDN, LD, of The Real Food Dietitians, to find out what you should (and shouldn’t) eat the week before your wedding.

Their most important tip: just say “no” to crash diets. “We all know how extreme diets end — in out-of-control binges followed by feelings of guilt and failure. You already have enough on your plate; spending most of your waking hours obsessing about what you can’t eat isn’t going to allow you to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding (or the day of, for that matter).”

That being said, feeling like an overfilled balloon isn’t any more fun than feeling hungry and calorie-obsessed, so Jessica and Stacie did advise us on which foods to avoid in the days leading up to your wedding. “We suggest steering clear of fried foods and processed foods with lots of added sugars or sodium, as they may cause digestive distress, water retention, or skin issues. There’ll likely be plenty of occasions to splurge on drinks and rich food as the big day comes near, so just be sure to pace yourself. Overindulging may feel good in the moment but will leave you feeling tired, bloated, lethargic, and puffy in the end.”

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Instead, try swapping out a sweet, low-nutrient snack for an apple and a handful of nuts and replacing greasy, fried foods with whole-food-based meals like this one-pan sweet potato chicken bake. It’s easy to make, and you’ll have enough left over for lunch the next day, too (especially important when you are rushing around finalizing those last-minute wedding details)! And remember, even healthy foods like dairy and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and the like) can leave you feeling gassy and bloated if you are sensitive to lactose or aren’t used to consuming these foods on a regular basis.

Jessica and Stacie added, “You deserve to enjoy your wedding day, and standing around sipping ice water and sucking in your belly is a miserable way to spend what should be one of the happiest days of your life. Since you chose the menu, the food will probably be pretty great, too, so why deprive yourself? Your spouse-to-be will undoubtedly be happier knowing you’re comfortable with yourself and enjoying the day rather than fretting over how you look.”

Just how can you achieve this state of prewedding bliss? First of all, make time for some basic meal planning and prepping so you have access to healthy, satisfying meals. “If you don’t have the time or the skills to do so, consider asking a friend to help you out by preparing a few meals and snacks for your fridge or consider a healthy meal-delivery service like The Good Kitchen so you have premade meals on hand that you can heat and eat,” Jessica and Stacie recommended.

Maintaining an exercise routine is also important. “Adding in a light exercise (if you’re not already doing regular workouts) or continuing with workouts you enjoy are great ways to relieve stress and give you time to focus on what’s really important, like time with your family, friends, and the person who’ll be looking back at you when you walk down the aisle.”

Sure, you could starve yourself for a few days leading up to your wedding, but do you really want to remember feeling hangry and moody on one of the most special days of your life? We didn’t think so. By taking a more balanced and realistic approach, you won’t just look like the radiant, happy bride you’ve always imagined . . . you will feel like her, too.

Image Source: StockSnap / Pro Image Photography

What to eat — and not to eat— the morning of your wedding to look and feel your best

  • On your wedding day, it’s likely that the last thing you’ll be thinking about is getting in a good breakfast.
  • However, you absolutely have to eat something substantial to have enough energy to get you through the day.
  • Whether you’re enjoying a morning celebration or planning on partying into the wee hours of the night, you must fuel your body adequately.
  • Opt for breakfasts with little sugar, like toast and eggs.

After months (or years) of planning, there’s a good chance you’re feeling a whirlwind of emotions on your wedding day: excitement, nerves, and joy are all common as you prepare to marry the love of your life.

One thing you shouldn’t be feeling, however, is hunger. As you’re getting ready, the last thing you’ll probably be thinking about is getting in a good breakfast. But you absolutely must eat a solid morning meal, because your wedding day is a long day. Whether yours is a mid-morning celebration or a party into the wee hours of the night, you’ll need adequate fuel to get you through it.

The good news is, there is no shortage of wedding day breakfast ideas that will make you feel great and give you the energy you need to enjoy every second of the most beautiful — and hectic — day of your life.

“Breakfast is always important,” says California-based certified nutritionist Cara Clark, who told Martha Stewart Weddings that “on this day, in particular, it’s especially key to set the stage for a long day.”

The goal is to eat something that will leave you satiated but not bloated, uncomfortable, or stuffed.

Start your day with toast.

Top toast with a nut butter for extra nutrition. Photo-Dave/iStock

Clark recommends two slices of sprouted grain toast topped with a nut butter of your choice (like peanut or almond), sprinkled with blueberries, maca powder, and cinnamon to “give you plenty of satiety with enough calories to get you through at least four hours. It will also digest quickly enough to keep you from feeling bloated and heavy.”

Get your fill of protein from eggs.

Registered dietitian and C&J Nutrition co-founder Willow Jarosh recommends scrambled eggs with add-ins like a cup of diced sweet potato, a handful of kale, and avocado slices, which are “hearty enough to leave you fueled throughout the busy morning, but won’t leave you overly full.”

An omelet is another great choice, with Brooke Alpert, the founder of B Nutritious, adding that “the perfect breakfast for your wedding day is filled with protein, fat, and fiber that will keep you full and energized without causing a sugar crash.”

If you’re looking for something heartier, you can combine both. Scrambled eggs on top of toast will give you “just the right amount of fiber to keep you full, but not too much that you start to feel bloated,” explained Brigitte Zeitlin, the founder of BZ Nutrition.

Opt for oatmeal.

Oatmeal is sure to keep you feeling full.

To avoid a sugar crash on your big day, opt for a bowl of oatmeal with toppings which “contains soluble fiber to slow the absorption of glucose from food in your stomach, which keeps your blood-sugar levels steady,” says Keren Gilbert, RD, founder of Decision Nutrition, who recommended add-ins like fresh fruit and cinnamon to Shape Magazine.

If you’re running short on time, try an on-the-go breakfast.

Let’s be real, the last thing most of us have time for on our wedding day is to prepare a breakfast, especially if we’re in a hotel room without access to groceries or a full kitchen. Some great grab-and-go options include Greek yogurt with fruit or a whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese. These options are filling but still easily digestible, as registered dietitian Danielle Colley told Brides magazine.

Greek yogurt is an especially great choice, registered dietitian Rebecca Fuller said to Bridal magazine. “The live cultures in the yogurt will calm your stomach, the higher protein content of Greek yogurt (vs. traditional) will keep you feeling fuller longer and the vitamin A will boost your energy as well as repair cell damage caused by stress,” says Fuller.

Steer clear of caffeine.

Coffee will only add to your pre-wedding jitters. John Jones/Flickr

If you’re thinking of guzzling coffee to perk you up for the many hours of dancing and family photos ahead, think again: Caffeine might not be the best choice on your wedding day, especially for sensitive stomachs. Coffee will give you the jitters and can aggravate your central nervous system, leading you to sweat more easily.

Your choice of liquids matters.

As Keri Glassman, R.D., founder of Nutritious Life, told Women’s Health magazine, hydration should be your main goal on your wedding day. “The goal is to stay well hydrated, keep your energy up, your skin looking great, and your belly not feeling bloated! Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Be careful of carbonated beverages if they bloat you. Aim to fill up in the a.m. so you won’t have to go to the bathroom too many times in your wedding dress!”

Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., a wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, agrees. She suggests “you can also sip peppermint tea to help calm the ‘gut nerves’ and provide yourself with some hydration. Opt for hydrating cucumber water as well.” Green tea is great for a subtle caffeine boost, as is chamomile tea for a calming effect.

Harness the hydration from fruit.

Fruit is a great hydrating option. Jitze Couperus/Flickr

Fresh fruit is also naturally hydrating due to its high water content, so it’ll help keep you full and hydrated without upsetting your stomach.

Say no to mimosas.

You’ll also want to avoid alcohol, so we’re sorry to say that mimosas with your bridal party probably shouldn’t be part of your pre-wedding celebrations.

Try “de-bloat” favorites.

To combat pre-wedding stomach upset, Melissa O’Shea, National Director of Nutrition, Exhale Mind/Body Spa gave some “de-bloat” favorites. She told Bridal Guide she recommends “asparagus, fennel, papaya, lemon, mint, and ginger.” However, you should avoid broccoli, cauliflower, and anything with artificial or processed sweeteners, that are difficult for your body to break down.

Stock up on snacks.

Ask your bridal party to supply some snacks. Universal

Lastly, be sure your pre-party crew has tons of snacks on hand, and be sure to eat as often as you can even after your solid breakfast.

“Eat whenever you can!” Colley told Brides magazine. “On your wedding day there is so much going on and so many people to visit with that you may not get much of a chance to eat.”

She recommends almonds, trail mix, peanut butter crackers, half a turkey sandwich, apples, string cheese and protein/snack bars as all good snack options before the wedding.

As for during the celebration, Colley suggests stopping to eat any time your guests are too, which means during cocktail hour and the reception itself. “Even a few bites can help keep you dancing the night away,” which is what we’re all trying to do during our first hours as a newlywed, right?

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Exactly What to Eat Before Your Wedding

What we eat on a daily basis has an enormous effect on how we feel physically as well as mentally and emotionally. That’s why, when you’re gearing up for a big event like your nuptials, it’s even more important to know what to eat before your wedding. Not only do you not want to catch a cold due to a weakened immune system, but you also want to make sure you have enough energy to make it through (and enjoy every second of!) your wedding week.

We asked registered dietitians and nutritionists to share what to eat before a wedding.

Seven days before your wedding…

It can be difficult to know what to eat before your wedding, but at the one-week mark, your primary wedding diet goal should be to eliminate all refined sugars and flours (rice, bread, crackers, pasta, etc.) as well as beans and cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels), carbonated beverages, alcohol (sad face) and anything else that can cause you to bloat. In the place of all of these beloved foods, Monica Auslander, M.S., R.D.N., founder of Essence Nutrition, suggests becoming a fruit fly. “Eat three fruits per day (tons of water and will flush out your system) and at least five servings of vegetables per day,” she says. The best fruits to reach for, thanks to their high water content, are watermelon, apples, citrus, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, papaya, pineapple, kiwi, grapes and fresh figs. “Substitute those refined sugars and flours with quinoa, brown rice, millet, plain oats, teff, rye, spelt, amaranth, buckwheat, sweet potato, squash or soba noodles,” Auslander suggests. “Use a vegetable spiralizer to make ‘pasta’ out of squash or zucchini and add organic, no sugar-added tomato sauce along with a lean protein.”

Three days before your wedding…

If you’re wondering what to eat before your wedding, you should try your best to maintain the same diet mentioned above, but churn your focus towards healthy lifestyle behaviors (think: sleeping a full eight hours each night and sipping on plenty of H2O). Sarah Ryan, M.S., R.D.N., registered dietitian nutritionist and media spokesperson for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, suggests starting to think about what you’ll eat the day of your wedding. Planning ahead is key! “Are you catering lunch while you’re getting ready? Maybe one of your besties is picking up some food? Look at the menus ahead of time and make a plan,” she says. “This will be one less thing to worry about on your wedding day, you can sit back and enjoy!”

The day before your wedding…

In addition to maintaining a well-balanced wedding diet and getting as much rest as possible, you’ll want to start making snack bags for you and your wedding party, suggests Ryan. “I like to mix almonds, dark chocolate chips, and whole grain cereal in small snack bags for an energizing snack,” she says. “Add a string cheese and place the small bag of mix and cheese in a sandwich-sized bag that you can grab as you head out the next day.” Packing the baggies the day before means less fuss for you!

The day of your wedding…

What should you eat literally right before your wedding? Start your day off right with a balance of protein and carbs to leave you feeling satisfied and energized. “Poached egg on whole wheat toast, whole grain cereal and low fat milk, a yogurt parfait with lots of fruit and even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are all great ideas to get your day started right,” suggests Ryan. “Your big day can have you full of nerves and excitement so your hunger cues may be a little off—sometimes smaller meals and snacks can help.”
You’ll definitely want to avoid eating anything new or weird—that’s asking for tummy trouble. “Save the alcohol for nighttime, as you don’t want to mess with your energy levels all day and you’re already enough of an emotional rollercoaster,” Auslander says. And for heaven’s sake, eat! Nobody likes a fainting bride or groom. “I had a full breakfast, lunch, and a banana and an energy bar in my bridal suite before my evening reception,” she says. “ I wanted to make sure I felt amazing, energized, and had food in my stomach so I could have a glass of champagne without collapsing.”

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Just as you are planning out the entire day leading up to the minute you say “I do” it’s also important to have a game plan for meals and snacks, which is why I’ve come up with these healthy eating tips for before the wedding!

In order to look and feel your best and minimize bloat you’ll want to make sure your properly fueled the entire week with the right foods for you. Check out my top 5 tips below on what to eat before the big day.

While I don’t recommend “crash diets” by any meals – you can think of these tips as a week before the wedding diet.

1. Play it safe and stick with foods that you’re used to

The week before and day of your wedding is not a time to try anything unfamiliar which could upset your system. It’s important to eat the same types of foods you’ve been eating all along.

If you know you may have a nervous stomach stick to foods that are easy to digest such as eggs, chicken, cooked vegetables, brown rice, whole grain toast, and quinoa.

2. Do a practice run

Use other events leading up to your wedding (such as your engagement party or bridal shower) to practice eating the same foods you plan to eat before your wedding.

Make sure to pay extra attention and listen to your body in order to figure out which foods suit you best!

3. Plan out and avoid skipping your meals

Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can in turn leave you feeling not only “hangry”, but faint. Feeling this way isn’t good for handling emotions the week of your wedding or for looking your best in photos the day of.

Schedule time in between your hair and makeup to make sure you eat your go-to breakfast and lunch.

Plus, keep extra familiar snacks on hand such as nuts, fruit or a protein bar as well!

4. Watch the salt

The week before your wedding you will want to reduce your risk of bloat so you feel calm and your dress looks and feels perfect!

It’s best to stick to mostly unprocessed or home-cooked meals and snacks since most of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged, processed, and restaurant foods.

5. Drink up!

Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water the week of the wedding and to drink at least 8 ounces first thing that morning.

Continue to sip on water consistently throughout the day, but also be careful not to overdo it as the day progresses, to minimize having to go to the bathroom in your wedding dress.

If planning on drinking alcohol (some brides choose not to), make sure to spread out any alcoholic drinks throughout the different events of the day (getting ready with bridesmaids, cocktail hour, wedding reception) to minimize the effect the alcohol has on you.

It’s also a good rule of thumb to drink at least one cup of water in between each alcoholic drink. Stick to alcoholic beverages your body is familiar with to prevent any surprise reactions.

Need help creating a personalized nutrition plan before your big day? We can help take the stress of meal planning off your plate!

Sign up for a complimentary strategy session HERE

With all of the parties with yummy spreads and of course celebratory champagne toasts, it’s hard to stick to your pre-wedding diet plan. I don’t like the word diet which is why I’m calling this a health kick, but 72 hours before your wedding-I get it, it’s at least good to know which foods to go for and which ones to absolutely avoid to prevent bloating. I first heard about this 3-day plan about 10 years ago from one of my co-workers who was 45 (but clearly didn’t look it!), she had the most amazing skin and body. She said once a month she would drink only water and only eat salmon, blueberries and cantaloupe for three days. After doing some research I realized this plan is called The Facelift Diet and you can add quite a few goodies to this plan. Visit Dr. Perricone’s website for meal and snack ideas. I created a shopping list of some of these foods below and took off some items that are normally amazing for you, but 3 days before your wedding can cause bloating (yes, super foods can cause bloating!). It is perfect for right before your wedding because you will not only shed a couple pounds, but your skin will be clear and glowing and you will feel amazing!I try to do this 3-day plan once a month, simply because I love how my skin looks afterwards. Let me know how you like it! And check back for more health and exercise tips.

The Best (and Worst) Foods to Have in the Bridal Suite Before Your Wedding

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You’ve searched high and low for your dream wedding dress, worked with your tailor to perfect the alterations, and rebooted your workout regime to be in your best shape ever. When the big day finally arrives, many brides (and bridesmaids) want to look and feel their best. Refusing to eat before walking down the aisle is not the way to do it, Rachel Paul, PhD, RD, and Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, the pros behind the Wedding Nutritionist, explain. “Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can in turn leave you feeling not only ‘hangry’, but also faint. Feeling this way isn’t good for handling emotions or looking your best in photos,” they say. So, what’s the ideal morning-of meal plan? Here, we’ve broken down the best (and worst) foods to have in the bridal suite.

RELATED: WHAT TO EAT ON THE MORNING OF YOUR WEDDING

Stock it with: Plenty of fluids.

For glowing skin and reduced bloating, you’ll want to drink plenty of fluids on the morning of your wedding, so make sure you have plenty of water bottles and other hydrating drinks in your bridal suite. But while you should also continuously sip water throughout the day, Paul and Ditkoff warn against overdoing it “to minimize having to go to the bathroom in your wedding dress.” Try to avoid carbonated beverages, which may lead to more bloating.

Stock it with: Protein-rich foods.

Protein boosts energy levels and leaves you feeling full, so Paul and Ditkoff recommend eating “a balanced breakfast with a serving of a protein-rich food, such as eggs or plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit” before walking down the aisle. A hearty breakfast spread, nuts, and other protein-rich snacks are smart options to have on hand.

Stock it with: Mini meals.

“A bigger meal may not seem as doable once the pre-wedding jitters start creeping in,” explains Paul and Ditkoff. Scarfing down plenty of food can lead to gastronomical distress and leave you feeling hungry later in the day. Instead, the nutritionists recommend eating several mini meals (like banana with peanut butter or a protein bar) leading up to the ceremony. As a bonus, smaller meals will help keep energy levels up so stock your suite with little bites so that you can snack frequently.

Stock it with: Lean meats and whole grains.

Most brides have two main goals on the wedding day: fending off bloating while warding off anxiety. According to Paul and Ditkoff, the best foods for this are common and simple. Eggs, chicken, cooked vegetables, brown rice, whole grain toast, and quinoa are good items to have on hand during the day.

RELATED: 10 FOODS YOU SHOULD EAT BEFORE THE WEDDING

Don’t bring in: Unfamiliar foods.

“It’s important to eat the same types of foods you’ve been eating before the big day. A new way of eating or eating foods your body may not be used to is unwise,” says Paul and Ditkoff. Who knows if your body will have a negative reaction to an unfamiliar cuisine? In short: Don’t order anything you’ve never had before on your wedding morning.

Don’t bring in: Cruciferous vegetables.

In order to cleanse their body, some brides may gorge on broccoli and cauliflower before walking down the aisle. But Paul and Ditkoff say these cruciferous vegetables (and other high-fiber foods, like beans and whole grains) may cause bloating and gas. Of course, those accustomed to eating these foods without gastrointestinal discomfort should feel free to eat away.

Don’t bring in: Too much caffeine.

Feel free to enjoy a cup of coffee or a latte on your wedding day, but don’t drink more than you usually do. Whether you average one cup pre day or three, aim to drink whatever you know your body is used to. Remember that an overabundance of caffeine often leads to anxiety, jitters, headaches, and a racing heart, so you shouldn’t guzzle cups just to get a little extra energy.

Don’t bring in: Too much alcohol.

“If you’re planning on drinking alcohol, make sure to spread out any alcoholic drinks throughout the different events of the day to minimize the effect it has on you,” says Paul and Ditkoff. “It’s also a good rule of thumb to drink at least one cup of water in between each alcoholic drink” in order to ward off hangovers.

The morning of your wedding day will inevitably fill you with a multitude of emotions – excitement, happiness, perhaps nervousness and definitely relief that the day is finally here!

Whilst we cannot guarantee we can take away your pre-wedding jitters (all perfectly normal!) we know for a fact that how you start the day and what you eat will certainly play a part in sustaining a settled stomach throughout and banishing any dreaded bloat-inducing stress that you definitely don’t want as you reach for your wedding dress! Just 5 of our best brides breakfast ingredients will keep you energised through both an emotionally demanding and busy day and prove that eating like a king at breakfast time will make a happy tummy and a happy, confident bride!

Continue reading below…

EGGS

Eggs are among the most nutritious all round ingredients available to us and are bursting with the most extensive range of nutrients, vitamins, rare minerals like selenium and protein. They provide energy and nutrient stability to satisfy hunger without consuming excess calories. Opt for boiled or scrambled eggs on a piece of wholegrain toast for added fibre to help with digestion and half an avocado smashed with a tsp of apple cider vinegar will provide a little of the good fats that will keep your metabolism working hard throughout the day and the vinegar to support your gut’s good bacteria.

NUTS

Technically a fruit but without the sugar, nuts are low in carbs and high in protein and essential fats that are needed for growth, repair and equally weight loss! Our bodies are designed to digest these fats and you may find it is the overconsumption of sugar that is stopping you from shifting any excess weight. A recent study has shown that eating a protein and fat based breakfast, is the best time for your body to consume first thing in the morning that will collectively kick start your metabolism, prolong the release of energy and feed your body’s ability to burn up the calories and help you absorb as many nutrients as possible at the same time. Add a small handful of walnuts, cashews and almonds to smoothies, shakes, porridge and pancakes. Not only will they naturally sweeten but will keep you sustained for longer than your average bowl of cereal.

OATS

Oats are your ultimate stomach settling ingredient. A highly soluble fibre like Porridge oats will help maintain bowel regularity which is one way to beat the bloat. From this base you can add in a whole array of nutrient enhancing flavours to satisfy your tastebuds from sweet spices like cinnamon, berries with a drizzle of honey which is antibacterial and rich in simple sugars that actually help to regulate your blood sugar.

NATURAL YOGHURT

Magical probiotics in natural yoghurt feed and maintain the balance and production of good bacteria in your digestive system – helping you to process food faster, more efficiently and therefore aiding in preventing any bloating along the way. Add fresh fruit, nuts and seeds to full fat natural yoghurt which will give you your ‘good fat’ content also.

FRUITS

As well as providing the best natural source of sugar, fruits like blueberries pineapple and Papaya are highly fibrous and full of antioxidants. Papain in Papaya can help to break down hard-to-digest foods causing constipation and bloating. Add a handful of these to your porridge or yoghurt. For an immune system booster slice up a ripened watermelon as a sweet treat to kick start the day. As well as it’s highly hydrating water content, you might be surprised to know that it’s the seeds of the watermelon that contain proportionally one of the highest levels of zinc per 100g which is linked to healthy skin and hair!

PUMPKIN

Potassium levels are important because they regulate the bodies natural fluid and electrolyte balance. Too low potassium levels can contribute to a build up in unwanted fluid levels and is the reason it is linked the water retention. To avoid this potential potassium deficiency and bloat build up, this list topping ingredient is richer in potassium than a banana. For a sweet solution…adding half a cup of pumpkin puree into buckwheat flour, 1 egg and a some milk will aid water loss and stop build up of more. Wholegrain Buckwheat flour in place of regular flour will up the fibre and protein value of your meal and aid in digestion also.

T I P S

Bananas

High in fibre and able to pack an energising punch of potassium, we could write an entire list of the replenishing health properties of the banana. Not only will they balance out your blood sugar helping you sustain your energy for longer, but high levels of pectin will soothe bloat-induced bellies via your digestive tract if you find yourself constipated. TOP TIP for a flat stomach, eat only ripened yellow banana’s. Before the ripening process occurs higher levels of starch content in green bananas are more at risk of causing bloating and/or flatulence.

Herbal tea

Wondering what to drink to neutralise the nerves? Herbal teas really do wonders with their undeniable health advantages and particularly anti-inflammatory properties that will soothe your stomach and relax your mind. Try sipping a cup of Peppermint, dandelion, ginger, fennel or aniseed tea.Not only might you find yourself enjoying the clean taste of these replenishing flavours, Green tea in particular is known for its multi functioning natural health enhancers including anti-ageing antioxidants and even increasing metabolic rate when consumed with food!

Wedding morning schedule

Eat slowly, break in between each mouthful and allow yourself time to eat on the morning. Make sure you factor into your schedule a proper breakfast time – even having your girls over for a pre-wedding breakfast all together will encourage you to sit down, relax and fill up on the good stuff – that way you know everyone will be fuelled up for the day too. Bare in mind, breakfast is historically THE most important meal of the day, if rushed or skipped you won’t be at your most alert and judging by many of the brides we’ve spoken to in the past, you may not get opportunity to eat quite as easily with all the business and guest-entertaining!

Here are a few ideas from our real bride community:

“I had a full English! Our ceremony wasn’t until 3pm and I wanted something to keep me going. My bridesmaids, Dad and I stayed in a guesthouse in Northumberland near our venue the night before and they did a fantastic breakfast. It was great because we didn’t need to worry about doing any cooking!”

Grace

Photo by ER Photography

Some say they ate light as they were too nervous or worried about bloating on their wedding day. Here at Brides Keeping it Real we understand the nerves but recommend you have a hearty breakfast!

“I don’t think I ate until lunchtime as I was so nervous and wanted my hair and makeup done first. When I got back my Aunty and Mam had made a little party buffet of different nibbles and sandwiches… including cake so I had that & a glass of fizz!

This bride’s wedding morning breakfast ideas have got my vote: “I’d say it’d be best to have carby things to bloat you a smidge, then your dress wont be too tight later in day as you’ll tighten your corset to the bloat. As your bloating goes down you’ll replace it with the fizz & food you’ve been craving for months on your pre wedding diet!”

Katie

Photo by Andy Hudson Photography

Here are some more wedding morning breakfast ideas to suit all tastes…

“I’m sure we had croissants and champagne”

Crystal

“I had a vegan chicken sandwich as I didn’t want to faint.”

Laura

“We were in a hotel suite so we had a continental breakfast and a lot of coffee.”

Jill

Photo by ER Photography

If you’re bucking tradition and spending the night before your wedding together with your groom you can share a tasty wedding morning breakfast…

“We stayed in the same room the night before so they brought a massive shared continental breakfast!”

Photo by Zo+Liam

Marie-Claire

Bacon rolls and fizz seemed to be the most popular choice! An easy, tasty and indulgent wedding morning breakfast. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day so you don’t end up dehydrated…

“Bacon roll, croissant and maybe a few glasses of champagne!”

Emma

“Bacon sandwiches and fizz!”

Lucy

Photo by Andy Hudson Photography

Other popular wedding morning breakfast ideas included lots of things to nibble on, and of course some bucks fizz/mimosas to wash it down. It’s the best day of your life so why not start as you mean to go!

“Croissants, jam, fruit, eggs, bacon, mimosas. All the things!”

Jo

“Fruit platters, pastries, coffee and lots of fizz”

Katy

Photo by Nathan Dainty

If you do wake up early full of nerves there is an up-side….

“Oh my goodness I was so boring – I had toast. I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited so I went into the kitchen of the venue and made coffee and toast at 5a.m. On reflection it was lovely to have an hour or so on my own that morning… before everything went crazy!”

Emma

What will you have for breakfast on your wedding morning? Head over to our Facebook group to discuss your REAL wedding.

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Featured suppliers:

Andy Hudson Photography

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Zo+Liam

Five Healthy Ideas for Your Wedding-Day Breakfast

► “Start your morning with one cup of oatmeal made from steel-cut oats. Add in mixed berries, like raspberries or strawberries. The protein in the oats will give you needed energy. Stay hydrated by drinking water or green tea. This will ensure your body is functioning properly and that your skin looks fresh. Avoid alcohol or anything high in sugar: both will cause blood sugar to spike and your energy to crash later in the day. (This isn’t to say you can’t enjoy some champagne and a piece of wedding cake when the time comes!)” —David Kirsch, fitness and wellness expert; author, The Ultimate New York Diet (McGraw-Hill).

►”My first recommendation is to have plenty of water with lemon starting upon waking up and then throughout the day. This has a cleansing and diuretic effect. Breakfast should provide energy and avoid any bloating ingredients. Have grapefruit, two eggs (including the yolks)—any style—hard-boiled, scrambled, and oatmeal. Avoid milk or dairy products since these can result in gas and bloat; go with black coffee and/or plain tea with or without lemon. Avoid salt, since this can cause water retention. Drink lots of water and stay hydrated through the reception. Most important: enjoy the food and remember to eat during the festivities.” —Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; author, Stop Aging, Start Living (Crown).

► “Set aside enough time for a breakfast that will keep you feeling satisfied yet light and energized for hours to come. Try a low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh blueberries, strawberries and melon. The live cultures in the yogurt will calm your stomach, the higher protein content of Greek yogurt (vs. traditional) will keep you feeling fuller longer and the vitamin A will boost your energy as well as repair cell damage caused by stress. Berries are rich in stress-reducing C and the melon acts as a natural diuretic to help flatten your belly for a perfectly fitting gown! Avoid unwanted jitters by swapping out highly caffeinated morning coffee for a soothing cup of de-bloating peppermint or chamomile tea.” —Rebecca Fuller, RD, dietician, Fashion Institute of Technology and NYU Coles Sports Center, NYC.

► “I tell my brides there are three key elements to the perfect wedding-day breakfast. Since your nerves will already be doing a number on your stomach, you want to consume food that will be easy to digest. And be sure to include enough protein to keep you satiated and your blood sugar stable (low blood sugar equals a tired and cranky bride). Finally, you will also want to include foods that will prevent gas and bloating. Asparagus, fennel, papaya, lemon, mint and ginger are some de-bloat favorites. So what does the perfect breakfast look like? Two favorites are:
• 1 egg yolk plus 3 egg white omelet with spinach, fennel and asparagus.
• 1 cup of cooked quinoa (yes, it is great for breakfast) made with organic lowfat milk or almond milk for a lactose-free option. Top with chopped walnuts.
Pair either breakfast with a side of sliced papaya and a cup of ginger tea, which can also aid in digestion and settle a nervous bride’s belly.” —Melissa O’Shea, National Director of Nutrition, Exhale Mind/Body Spa.

► “The best breakfast for your wedding day will include protein and healthy fats. Just make sure to eat before getting your makeup done and putting your dress on! Try this delicious shake to get off to a great start.
Coconut Bliss Smoothie:
• 1 ounce protein powder
• ½ cup water
• ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
• ½ frozen banana cut into chunks
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
• 4 ice cubes
Add all ingredients to blender and blend till smooth and creamy.” —Dr. Frank Lipman, founder and director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City.

Extra Tip: Drinking lots of water actually helps avoid water retention and prevent fatigue. Add lemon wedges and mint leaves for a de-bloat bonus.

Photo Credit: airwasabi/iStockphoto

A CLASSY BRIDAL MORNING BREAKFAST

A unique wedding morning breakfast idea for Perth brides

Best friends. Bubbly. And breakfast! What better way to combine these three special elements on the morning of your wedding day than to have a classy bridal banquet? This is what inspired Perth wedding coordinator/stylist extraordinaire Blonde and Blue to style a relaxed ‘Morning of a Wedding Day’ shoot for the modern Australian bride.

Now, this one isn’t your traditional bridal morning – for one, this intimate breakfast was set in a beautiful venue with great food, incredible service, and a view to die for. It just goes to show that getting ready on the morning of your wedding day doesn’t have to be at home or in a hotel… in fact, by thinking outside the box, it’s possible to create the morning of your dreams (without any added stress!)

Captured by photographer Angela Higgins, and together with an incredible team including Sir Botanical, Nestle & Porter, and Sleeping W. The Enemy, prepare to be amazed as you check out this unique wedding morning breakfast idea…

The #BRIDESQUAD slipped into personalised luxe monogrammed sleepwear by Sleeping W. The Enemy for breakfast. Not only are pyjamas a practical bridesmaid gift idea, but they can serve as a sweet reminder of the special occasion for years to come.

Of course, wherever you choose to get ready on the morning of your wedding day, being in the presence of flowers is a must! Sir Botanical laid the table with these gorgeous blooms. They look beautiful when combined with those on-trend acrylic blush place cards made by Nestle & Porter.

With such a long day planned, it’s always a good idea to take the time to enjoy a big breakfast… especially when you won’t get a chance to eat until you arrive at your reception! We’re loving these delicious pancake stacks and fruit muesli bowls. #YUM!

After a tummy full of delicious food, the bride-to-be presented her bridesmaids with a matching set of earrings and bracelet from Kailis Jewellery to wear on the day.

And how cute are these xoxo cocktail glasses? It looks like the celebratory libation of choice for the morning is a raspberry kisses cocktail!

Before the craziness of the day unfolds, there’s nothing better than taking the time to relax with your closest girlfriends for breakfast on the morning of your wedding before you walk down that aisle. Remember, your wedding day will be a whirlwind of pictures, flowers, emotions, and – most importantly – happiness. Try to take it slow and enjoy it!

Love, LENZO x

SHOP THE WEDDING MORNING IDEAS FOR BRIDE ON LENZO

CREDITS

STYLING + COORDINATION Blonde And Blue Styling / PHOTOGRAPHER Angela Higgins / FLORIST Sir Botanical / STATIONERY Nestle & Porter / VENUE Island Market Trigg / PYJAMAS Sleeping With The Enemy / HAIR Arcorace Hair & Beauty / MAKEUP Brittany Paige Lovell, Kim Deane Makeup Artist / JEWELLERY Kailis Jewellery / NAILS Palette Nails / MODELS Lia Mucci, Nikki Theo, Dea Lalovic, Hayley Rappa / Written by Melbourne blogger Maree Mikhaiel

Did You Know

When a bride first wakes up on her wedding day, two things will generally happen (no, I do not mean getting married 😉 ). The first is that it will be very early in the morning. After speaking and working with may brides over the years, the average wake-up time for our brides is around 4 am to 6 am. This is because you wake up super early, make sure your hair and make-up are done, your bridal party are taken care of, and the thousands of things going on simultaneously on your wedding day. You get up super early so that nothing will go wrong. We had one bride wake up at 2 am because she lived very far away from her venue. She was exhausted by the time she was at her Reception.

The second statistic is that the average bride will not get to eat something substantial until they sit down at the reception. If you think about it, the bride is soo focused on getting everything ready for HER DAY; she forgets to look after herself. Some will even forgo food because they took a long time to get into their wedding dress. The idea of getting a single drop of coffee to ruin it will keep many brides at bay from food.

What Can Happen

All this can lead to a very serious issue of brides falling asleep (or fainting) during the ceremony. They also have a habit of being cranky during their photo sessions. This is because they are hungry and sleepy. As a result, they are not enjoying their day as they should. By the time they walk into their reception, they could eat a horse!

If you are staying in a hotel and wanted to order room service, it is generally very expensive to cater for the whole team. Most brides are so focused on their wedding day that they forget to order/eat anything. If they do eat or drink something, it will not be sufficient. If they do eat or drink it generally be cans of energy drinks or alcohol to give them pep to keep them awake. As you can imagine these beverages on an empty stomach equals a very bad combination. This is why you need breakfast on your wedding day.

The Solution – Breakfast On Your Wedding Day

As a result, Pink Caviar Events has been saving brides from hunger and tiredness by introducing them to our “Bridal Party Catering”. Originally part of our coordinator packages, it is now available on its own for Sydney Brides. This is for brides who would like to have breakfast taken care of and conveniently delivered to your location in the early hours of the morning.

Wake up knowing that this is one less thing you need to worry about. It is also at a fraction of the price of hotel room service. If you are getting ready at home, don’t have to worry about your bridesmaids picking up food. You do not have to send someone out on a drive-thru mission. Nor your parents making food when they should be spending time with you on your wedding day. Our hampers include sparkling wine, ham & cheese croissants, yoghurt, selection of muffins and pastries, fruit, juices and more. We also include all disposable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery for added ease.

Wedding day breakfast ideas

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