Like most brides, you are on a mission to look your absolute best. You're all about finding the most amazing wedding dress, shoes, and beauty look. But what you put inside your body is as important (if not more) than what goes on the outside of it. "I believe that outer beauty and overall wellness are directly influenced by our internal health," says Kimberly Snyder, nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author. "You won't reach your ultimate potential for amazing radiance if your diet doesn't support it."
So skip the diet and weight loss goals and instead, focus on health. Start with making smart nutritional choices that promote a better body and mind. Here are a few appetizing recommendations—consider them food for thought.
There are just some things that naturally do a body good. "Try drinking a Glowing Green Smoothie daily, which is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber," advises Snyder. "Another great option is a veggie soup. It's filling and full of minerals." Other eats that rate high on her food chain include: tomatoes, bell peppers, mangoes, watermelons, and leafy greens. All rich in carotenoids (compounds loaded with vitamin A and antioxidants), these super foods nourish and protect skin, tissue, and cells from environmental toxins.
Sprout It Out
Remember when Mom told you to eat your Brussels sprouts and you made a face? Well, as it turns out Mom was right (big surprise) about them being good for you. Sprouted foods—and we're not just talking beans and beets— have long been lauded for having off-the-charts nutritional value. "They're one of the most magical and beneficial foods that we can consume," Snyder points out. "Some of the best for beauty benefits include adzuki, broccoli, and clover."
Sprouting is the process by which nuts, greens, legumes, and grains are turned from a dormant seed into a living plant or shoot. "During this maturation process, much of the stored nutrition within the seeds begins to multiply," explains Snyder. "Protein, fiber, and vitamin content all increase dramatically." Sprouting also causes a surge in the plant's enzyme production (up to 1,000 percent or more), making all these nutrients more easily digested. To reap their full benefits, eat sprouts raw.
Do a Detox (That Involves Food!)
Back in the day, cleanses were nothing more than starvation diets—and just not healthy. Today's detoxes are anything but. Consider this new class of cleanses: energizing, fortifying, and yummy. "I highly recommend doing a properly administered cleanse before your wedding. They help clean out the toxins from your body and make more space for oxygen and nutrient absorption," explains Snyder, who lists glowing skin, healthier hair, and an improved immune system as positives of cleanses. Just be sure to follow a few guidelines: Look for a detox that gives you at least 1,100 to 1,200 calories daily, and limit it to only a few days.
Whether you're trying to shed a few pesky pounds or just dry out from all that pre-wedding partying, choose your booze wisely. "Wine is okay in moderation, since it has healthy flavonoids and antioxidants," says Snyder, who suggests choosing reds and whites that are organic or biodynamic with no added sulfites. "Though wine is fermented and contains sugar, it's not as hard on the liver as other types of alcohol." Avoid brewed beverages like beer and mixed drinks with tequila and rum—they cause sugar imbalances in the body and bloating. "If you really want a cocktail, stick to vodka," she offers. "And if you really love an occasional beer, choose a darker variety, which has more minerals than refined, lighter-colored varieties."