By Manoli Mehta, Nutritionist
For many brides, setting the date means committing to a glaring deadline: that day you will want look the most incredible you ever have in your life. It’s no secret that engaged women often go to extremes to achieve perfection: crash diets, intense workouts, serious cleanses, and dramatic treatments to fix every problem spot. Couple that with the stresses of wedding planning, and a bride’s beauty quest can run her dry.
Nutritionist Manoli Mehta agrees: the goal for slimming down and getting that bridal glow should be to get healthy, not hangry. The gatekeeper to the looking and feeling your best (and let’s be real, maintaining your anti-bridezilla cool) is taking a few extra minutes a day to nourish yourself.
That dewy angelic skin, silky hair, strong nails and flat tummy can be the result of a solid Bridal Detox plan.
Definition of ‘Detox’
Firstly, let’s be clear about our definition of the word ‘detox’. The concept of detox is simple and not faddy; focus on eating whole unprocessed foods. This means filling your diet with an abundance of vegetables, wholegrains, healthy fats and lean proteins whilst cutting back on sugar and bad fats, which are well known to promote good health.
Sticking to this way of eating will not only help to future-proof your long-term health but also promote mood, energy levels, weight loss, healthy skin, hair and nails.
Healthy eating should be seen as a collection of small changes that span your entire lifetime. Getting married offers the perfect incentive to change the way you eat and the sooner you adopt this way of eating the better.
In preparation for your wedding, start adopting a healthy way of eating as soon as possible.
Weight loss is a major consideration for new brides, as you want to look your best on the big day. Planning your meals around lean proteins such as poultry, fish, tofu, pulses, beans and lentils is a good place to start as these helps promote satiety and prevent snacking between meals. Make up the remainder of your diet with heaps of vegetables and a little wholegrain such as brown rice or grains like quinoa, which are rich in fibre that has a satiating effect to help with weight loss. Perfect examples include a quinoa and chicken salad or mixed bean chilli.
Hair, Skin & Nails
Hair, skin and nails are a major concern for new brides and the foods you choose to eat can help. Try to eat a couple of servings of oily fish every week as these are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy cell membranes such as those in the skin (omega 3 can help to plump up the skin and reduce wrinkling).
Vegans can get omega 3 from nuts and seeds but the conversion in the body to more usable forms of omega 3 is poor. Those following a plant-based diet may want to consider taking an omega 3 supplement.
The B vitamins are essential for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and nails. These vitamins are abundant in many whole foods including wholegrains, poultry, eggs, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and fruits. These nutrients help to promote blood circulation, delivering nutrients to the skin and removing waste. They also help to oxygenate the skin by causing blood vessels to widen, which promotes microcirculation to the top layers of skin.
Vitamin C is important in the development of collagen which is essential for healthy skin as it helps to retain structure and elasticity. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, and red peppers.
Antioxidants found in all vegetables can help to reduce the damage inflicted on cells.
Vitamins such as E (avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil) can help to promote healthy skin.
Protect the health of your gut. This is where the magic happens! The diversity of bacteria in your gut influence digestion, which helps to utilise nutrients and may even impact on mood and weight. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in live yoghurt and fermented foods such as miso, kimchi, kombucha and tempeh. Include plenty of these foods in your diet.
Also include prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, oats, barley as well as cooked then cooled potatoes and wholemeal pasta as these helps to feed good bacteria in the gut. If your gut bacteria are out of balance this can cause bloating and other digestive upsets.
6 Pre-Wedding Detox Hacks
- Include at least two servings of fruit and veggies with every meal and especially greens to ensure a mega dose of micronutrients and phytonutrients that reduce free-radical damage.
- Include a serving of lean protein with every meal (poultry, beans, pulses, tofu or soya).
- Include fibre-rich wholegrains with your meals (oats, quinoa, barley, spelt, rye bread).
- Ditch free sugars. Stick to honey and add just a little to your dishes to sweeten.
- Include at least two servings of oily fish every week. Vegans should include foods such as nuts, seeds, seed oils and green leafy vegetables but may also want to consider a supplement.
- Include probiotic foods in your diet to aid digestion and tackle bloating.
Your wedding day should be one of the happiest, most memorable days of your life. It also happens to be one of the most documented, so it is only natural to want to look, and feel, amazing. But the unhealthy pressure some brides put on themselves to look a certain way on their big day will do anything but make them feel amazing.
Thankfully, there are sustainable, and enjoyable, detox changes you can make to your lifestyle that will make you feel less stressed, more energised and lighter on your big day, with glowing hair and skin.