With all the things on a bride's to do list the week of her wedding, energy is a must have! One mistake that I think a lot of brides tend to make is not eating enough and exhausting themselves from all the festivities leading up to their big day.

Since wedding season is in full swing, I thought I would provide readers with tips to help them feel more focused, clean and slim during one of the most highly anticipated countdowns of their life!

1. Carbonation, Alcohol, Dairy and Salt ("C.A.D.S"): Being bloated is a bridal nightmare. To avoid this, be sure to say no thank you to carbonated drinks, alcohol, dairy and salt the week of your wedding day. Instead, of sipping your morning latte, or enjoying a Pellegrino with lunch, try this refreshing recipe as your daily hydration and metabolism booster.

Every evening fill up a large pitcher with 1 fresh lemon and lime (juiced), 2 inch pieces of fresh ginger, a handful of mint leaves and 1-2 pinches of cayenne pepper. *Optional: ¼ cup berries.

* Drink one cup of dandelion tea every evening this week. Dandelion tea helps rid the body of unnecessary fluid.

2. Lean Protein and Vegetables is key:

For every meal, even breakfast; consume at least four to six ounces (depending on bride's size) of lean protein (think eggs, grilled or baked fish, chicken, turkey or tofu) plus two to three cups of raw (or one cup steamed) leafy greens such as spinach, kale or asparagus (avoid cruciferous vegetables this week, as these are gas forming) drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Snacks can be consumed once-twice per day (preferably between lunch and dinner) and should be limited to vegetables (1 cup of water rich vegetables such as celery or cucumbers) with hummus (1/4 cup) or 10-15 nuts.

Protein Breakfast Examples

Protein Pancakes For the pancakes, mix one small ripe mashed banana with four egg whites. Stir in one-tablespoon nut butter, a pinch of cinnamon, and a drop of vanilla or almond extract. Pour a large spoonful of batter into a nonstick skillet glazed with cooking spray or oil. Cook on medium heat until brown on one side (about three minutes), make sure the batter is firm and then flip. Makes two large or four to five silver dollar pancakes

Egg-white omelet Try an egg-white omelet (4 egg-whites), with tons of vegetables mixed in and serve with a side of organic salsa and berries (1/2 cup).

Basic Protein Smoothie 6 ounces of unsweetened almond milk or water 1 scoop of protein powder (I recommend Vega One protein powder or Sun Warrior) 1-cup fruit, fresh or frozen 1 handful of greens (think spinach or kale) Blend well and serve.

3. Try Not to Over Fruit: Enjoy one fruit a day, but no more. Excess sugar in the diet, even if it's natural, is welcomed and stored by your fat cells, so beware-it is possible to over fruit! Typically, I tell my female clients to limit themselves to two fruit servings per day but to play it light for your wedding week, limit yourself to one serving of fruit per day.

*My favorite fruits to recommend during this week are berries, pears, oranges, watermelon and grapefruits.

*Keep in mind that I do not recommend dried fruit during this week, or ever for that matter; they're basically concentrated bundles of SUGAR.

4. Sleep is NECESSARY: Nerves can be high this week but try to not let your sleeping pattern be affected. Try to sleep eight hours a night. Set your alarm to be asleep by 10pm and wake up by 6 am, which are the hours that your body repairs itself and is primed to burn fat. When you are sleep deprived, your body requires more caffeine, craves sugar and cannot provide enough energy for a good workout, which is the perfect storm for added stress and weight gain.

5. Walk it Out: Your body (and mind) is probably working on over drive this week so instead of worrying if you are still on the waitlist at Pure Barre or whether you can cut out of work early to make the 4pm Orange Theory class, keep it simple and simply schedule an hour to go on a fairly brisk walk in the evening for 60 minutes. This type of exercise still burns calories and may also help to settle your mind and relieve some stress right before you settle in for your beauty sleep.

6. Cut the white sugar and refined carbohydrates: Okay, so carbs are essential to any weight-loss plan BUT-- that doesn't mean a steady diet of bagels and processed wraps are the answer. The secret to looking and feeling amazing when you walk down the aisle isn't cutting out carbs completely, but steering clear of the wrong kinds of carbs (think: white) and fueling up with the right ones (think: vegetables, fruit and gluten free starches such as quinoa or GF oatmeal). I encourage this because refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, even couscous, cause blood sugar levels to spike and then drop, so you'll feel sluggish and hungry soon after eating them- not something you have time for this week. My tip is to limit yourself to only one serving of starch (1/2 cup) two times during this week, if that is the only way to avoid being 'hangry". The rest of the carbohydrate sources are fair game (vegetables and fruit) just remember to limit fruit to once per day.

*RD approved starches include: quinoa, Ezekiel Bread, black rice, sweet potatoes and squash (starchy vegetables), and GF oatmeal.

*Beans and lentils are RD approved as well but not for this week since they are more gas forming

Ultimately, try not to focus on what you can't eat or drink, but rather all the variety of foods you can eat. Happy Wedding Week Ladies!


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