Nutritional Advice to Get You in Good Health for Your Wedding Day
Well, chances are if you’re on this [wedding photography] website, you’re going to get married. So firstly – congratulations! Double congrats are in order too, because if you’re considering Chris as your wedding photographer, you’re a lucky sausage. Why? Let me backtrack to October 2019, when I got married to Eddie. We chose Chris to document it all – the morning anticipation, the momentous ceremony, the speech-filled reception and the let-your-hair-down-and-just-don’t-care ceilidh dance we had. It was one of the best wedding decisions we made. Chris is the loveliest, most talented person we could have asked for. In short, book him.
Secondly, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably finding the wedmin process a tad stressful. It’s to be expected – organising one of the biggest days of your life alongside everything else life throws your way? I hear ya. It’s a tough gig.
But fear not – I’m a registered nutritional therapist and I’m here to get you ready for your big day (not to mention, keep you on tip top form during the planning too!). OK, so I can’t help out with the guest-list stresses or managing the liability that is your Uncle Robert, but I’ve got your nutrition covered.
Whether it’s shiny hair, glowing skin, a focused mind or increased resilience to manage the stress, nutrition can help you to feel great, optimise your health and help you power through those inevitable spreadsheets.
Let’s get eating…
Immune-boosting Good Guys
First up, let’s focus on some of the nutrients we have in our toolkit to support your immunity and buffer against the detrimental effects of stress. Nobody wants to be battling a cold on their wedding day.
An oldie, but a goodie. This is often the first things people think of when it comes to immune health, and for good reason. It’s a water-soluble vitamin which means it can’t be stored in our bodies, so we need a constant supply. Often, our requirements for vitamin C will increase when we’re fighting infection – so even more reason to ensure you’re eating adequate amounts if you’re feeling run down over these winter months. Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heating and food processing, so fresh vegetables and fruit are your best supply – we’re talking bell peppers, strawberries, guavas, oranges, papayas and broccoli.
Zinc is a trace element that we must consume in our diet (put another way, our bodies can’t make it for us). It’s not stored in the body efficiently, so a daily intake is required to keep levels topped up. Zinc is used in lots of enzyme reactions and is vital for immune function. The food source richest in zinc is oysters. If you fancy saving those til your honeymoon (wink, wink), other great sources are liver, beef and lamb. If you’d prefer to get zinc from plant sources, try a handful of pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds, throw some chickpeas into a stew or try adding tahini on toast (it’s delicious) to your breakfast repertoire.
B vitamins are stars of the show when it comes to energy production. They allow our body to convert our food into energy (known as metabolism). There are 8 types of B vitamins, each with their own function – together, they’re called the vitamin B complex. When we’re stressed, we burn through our B vitamins very quickly. Furthermore, they’re also depleted by alcohol – important to bear in mind if you’re going off and celebrating your hen and stag dos…Best to ensure adequate amount from your food. We find B vitamins in dark, leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli, whole grains like brown rice, eggs and dairy products, seeds (particularly sunflower) and nuts (particularly almonds).
Moving on to one of my favourites – omega 3. Omega 3s are essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are further broken down into EPA and DHA and are particularly important when it comes to:
- Skin health ~ omega 3 will keep your skin plumped and glowing.
- Brain health ~ the brain is 60% fat, a large chunk being DHA. Eating foods rich in omega 3 will keep you firing on all cylinders, keep you focused and ensure you can breeze through your wedding to-do list.
- Eye health ~ DHA also forms a large part of the eye tissue, so will keep your eyes looking clear, bright and popping for your photographers. (Your eyes also need to look good for all those happy tears).
We can’t make enough EFAs ourselves, so we must ensure we get these via foods or supplements. The best sources of omega 3 are oily fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and herring. The best veggie sources include flax seeds, cold-pressed flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts.
Manage your Mindset
Hashtags like ‘shred for the wedding’ and an increased pressure on brides (& grooms) to look their best can have huge consequences on people’s mental health and their relationships to food and their body. It’s undeniable that everyone should feel the best versions of themselves on their wedding day, but not to the detriment of their peace of mind. And no crash dieting – it does more harm than good.
Try and establish healthy approaches to food. Try to work with it, not against it and move away from binary labels such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Focus less on deprivation and what you feel you can’t eat, and instead focus on all the nourishing foods you will be adding into your diet – more fresh foods, upping your fruit and vegetable across the week, increasing your intake of whole foods.
Call in the Big Guns
If you’re still overwhelmed by what to eat or you feel like your diet is the last thing on a very busy to-do list, I understand. I’ve been there. Seek help from a professional (like me!). Sometimes, nothing beats going directly to the horse’s mouth. The world of nutrition, food and eating can be a confusing place. Nutrition holds different meanings for each of us and we all have unique relationships to food and our health. I’m all about honouring that. I cut through the noise with evidence-based advice you can trust. No fads, no no-nonsense. I want to empower you to feel the best you can do – on one of the most important occasions of your life. With planning a wedding you’ve got enough on your plate, I don’t want you worrying about food as well.
If you’d like to get in touch and book in your free 15 minute clarity call with me, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/bethedwardsnutrition/.
Happy wedding planning, everyone!