Special to OneWed by Ashley Koff, R.D., featured dietitian on the CW’s 'Shedding for the Wedding'
1. Make every bite count with nutrient dense foods. Think organic, whole foods versus processed, packaged foods. Make a salad bowl of organic blueberries (1/2 cup –fresh or frozen), quinoa (1/2 cup cooked), greens (unlimited) and avocado (1/4), and drizzle a ginger, lemon / lime vinaigrette (1 tsp dried ginger, 1 Tbsp organic lemon / lime juice, 2 Tbsp champagne vinegar) on top.
2. Get your GLA on! Fatty acid Gamma-linoleic (or GLA) helps create glowing skin and healthy wedding hair and nails. Nature’s source? Hemp. Toss hemp seeds on whole grains, berries or salad or use a hemp protein powder in your smoothie. Manitoba Harvest and Nutiva hemp products are great!
3. True hydration is so much more than water. Reduce your sodium intake and increase your potassium intake. Get hydrated with plain coconut water (I love ONE coconut water), white potato, banana, and avocado.
4. De-Stress with magnesium! Stress is inevitable but magnesium, Mother Nature’s muscle relaxant, helps keep you from showing the signs of stress and feeling them, too. Magnesium is found in whole grains (careful, not all whole grain flours will still have their original grain’s magnesium content), legumes, and greens, and I rely on a supplement of magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) when I’m feeling extra stressed.
5. Shake, rattle, and roll. Cellulite and bulges can be a sign that the lymphatic system isn’t clean and clear. To shake things up, jump on a trampoline, jump rope or put on some crazy music and dance around. And use the “roller” (most gyms have these Styrofoam or other tubes) before and after exercise to loosen up stiff muscles and help clear the lymphatic system.
6. Focus on fiber. Fiber helps make you feel full and also removes toxins and waste so you look your best. When increasing fiber, stay well-hydrated and choose quality sources. My go-to’s are organic chia seeds (for pudding), Nature’s Path Optimum Slim, and Smart Bran (for homemade trail mix). To whip up your own vanilla chia pudding, combine 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk, 1 tsp liquid stevia, and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a shallow bowl, stir and let stand, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Don’t want to DIY? Ruth’s Hemp’s Chia Goodness cereals are available at www.happybellybags.com and many natural foods stores.
7. Take a holistic approach. Your left hand is already attracting a lot of attention (thanks to your engagement ring rock!) and it’s likely that your arms, shoulders and toes will be on review in your wedding photos, too. Keep them all looking great with an anti-inflammatory diet for your insides. Use spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and oregano, choose high-quality carbs and proteins, and add anti-inflammatory fats like walnuts, flaxseed oil, and wild salmon. To get glowing skin and lock in moisture, apply coconut oil after a shower or add directly to the bath.
8. Celebrate without regret. Yes, you can have alcohol and still look and feel your best on your wedding day and…and the day after. Practice portion control or the fine art of wine tasting (think sip, not spit) and make sure to stay hydrated! Keep Nature’s Hydrators – water and plain coconut water – on hand to prevent a hangover, and try to avoid drinks with added sugars (juice, soda, etc.). Sugar works against you waist-wise and hangover-wise.
9. Sugar, sugar… A treat like tasting your wedding cake will only come twice or three times in your life. This will not ruin your efforts to look and feel your best when tying the knot. But having added sugars on a daily basis can keep you from your goals. I recommend choosing sugars in their most natural forms, carbohydrates like fruit, whole grains, legumes, organic dairy and starchy vegetables. Add a drop of honey to yogurt or cereal to make add some natural sugar, and avoid all artificial sweeteners.
10. Shedding for your Wedding? Watch the show (Wednesdays, 9pm on the CW) to see that it IS possible to lose weight, stay healthy and even strengthen your relationship if you and your fiancé commit to exercise and diet together. Now is the time to define what your health will look like in the future! It takes hard work but the commitment pays off. Register for a gym membership, or purchase weights and exercise DVDs for at-home fitness.
For a full pre-wedding nutrition plan including portions, check out Ashley Koff R.D.'s nutrition plan.