A wedding day diet by Nadine Tayara

Diana Bell-Heather   |   21 - 07 - 2015

What to eat and what to stay away from to maintain a healthy complexion, figure and energy level?

The food that goes into our mouth determines how we will feel and look throughout the day, but if we follow a healthy dietician recommended regime, then we are able to control our state of my mind. It is a fact that on such an important, pre-planned occasion, the adrenaline in our body kicks in blurs our thinking. We are so consumed, hyped up, and nervous at the same time with everything happening around us, that we sometimes even forget to eat. Under stress, every body reacts differently and whether you over eat or avoid food altogether, both cases affect your energy level and nerves throughout the day.

After spending so much time planning and anticipating the big day, all that is left to do is make sure you don’t neglect your mind and body so that you can peacefully enjoy the reward of your efforts. For this, a&e consulted Nadine Tayara, Dietitian and Centre Manager at The Right Bite Nutrition Centre, regarding the right foods to consume and which to avoid on the big day.

 How do you advise the couple to get their required vitamins for the day

With it being a hectic yet awesome day ahead, it is important not to forget to eat! Kick-start your metabolism and regulate your appetite by having a healthy, and wholesome breakfast as this will also keep your blood sugar levels controlled by providing you with the energy needed for an exciting day ahead.

An ideal healthy breakfast should be well-balanced including low glycemic (GI) carbohydrates to help stabilise your sugar levels throughout the day. Cooked rolled oats and quinoa porridge topped with sliced peaches or chopped banana are a good choices. Protein is also important to help keep you feeling full; another option for breakfast can be fat-free, plain-flavoured Greek yogurt topped with mixed berries such as blueberries and strawberries and some organic muesli.

Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water, you can even enjoy all-natural infused water such as adding sliced cucumber, fresh mint leaves or lemon wedges to your water. This will ensure that you’ll feel more energized and alert throughout the day. Water will also improve your skin and complexion, as well as curb your appetite. Herbal teas are also a good choice and may calm any jitters you may have!

What do you advise for lunchtime, which is usually the time when the bride’s hair and makeup is nearing completion?

Opt for foods that are easy to digest; yet high in fiber making you fuller for a longer time and helping you maintain energy levels. You’ll get a healthy boost from whole grain products (such as whole-wheat bread or brown rice), green vegetables and lean protein (like fish or tofu).

For example, try grilled tuna (low in fat and calories) or salmon (high in healthy omega-3 fats) with some brown rice & vegetables on the side.

How do you advise them to keep up their energy throughout the day? Any snacks or smoothies you recommend?

It is important not to skip meals, and eating right on your wedding day is equally crucial. Choose whole foods rich in protein, healthy fats, and fibre to maintain energy throughout the day. Prepare in advance some homemade trail mix to snack on throughout the day; a nice combination would be unsalted almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and some dried fruits and if you feel you won’t have time to prepare such a snack, then grab a fruit for that quick energy boost should you need during the day! For some green goodness, you can sip on a homemade green juice (made of spinach or kale leaves, avocado, celery and cucumber sticks, green apple and a banana) and add some super food seeds such as chia or flax seeds for that extra antioxidant boost! Though you may not be sensitive to dairy products it might be best to avoid them on your wedding day as they are known to cause bloating. If you must, you can have a small serving of plain Greek yogurt.

 Are there any foods to stay away from on the special day?

To avoid feeling sluggish or bloated on your wedding day, try to stay away from:

Carbonated beverages and other diet sodas, as they will leave you feeling bloated.

Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages; but if you must have coffee, then just one cup of black coffee is okay!

Salty food items such as salted nuts/crisps, as they make your body retain water and therefore causes bloating as well.

Fried and greasy foods such as fries, pizza, burgers.

Candies, sweets and other processed foods with refined sugar, as they are quickly digested and absorbed in the body making you crave for more. They are just good for a quick surge of energy, but cause slump in the mood leaving you feeling fatigued, irritable, and sleepy.

 With regards to anxiety, it is proven that certain foods cause or heighten the level of anxiousness in people. How do you suggest the couple and their families to tackle this issue?

Consuming wholesome, nutritious and clean food is always best, no matter what the occasion is! Limiting our intake of foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt will surely help with our mood, energy levels and make us less anxious and tired.

Top picks to calm you on this special day:

Oranges – juicy, sweet and packed with vitamin C that help reduce stress hormones in the body.

Asparagus – rich in folic acid that stabilizes your mood and works great as a side dish to your meal.

Almonds, unsalted – packed with magnesium, zinc, vitamins B2 and E. Vitamin E, like vitamin C, has been proven to fight free radicals linked with stress.

Dark Chocolate – contains magnesium, a mineral known to help fight stress; remember to practice portion control!

Blueberries – packed with antioxidants and rich in vitamin C.

In terms of facial skin, what are some foods to stay away from in order to ensure healthy and glowing skin for this day in particular?

Make sure that you take extra care of your skin on the lead up to the wedding day by eating the right foods:

Good protein is a must. Keep in mind that lean protein choices are best, including: fish such as salmon, tuna, lean meats, tofu, eggs and legumes.

Foods rich in antioxidants (berries and plums, artichokes, nuts and seeds, beans and prunes) should be part of your diet. Antioxidants play an important role in preventing and repairing damage to your skin caused by free radicals.

Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day, will help keep your skin hydrated and save you the trouble of dealing with dry and flaky skin.

Stay away from greasy foods as they trigger breakouts, and stick with essential fatty acids, like omega-3 (from salmon, ground flaxseed and walnuts).

Keeping skin clean, getting enough sleep, managing your stress & anxiety levels, and engaging in regular exercise are also important things to keep in mind!

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