by Elizabeth Mitchell, BRIDES
Eating super healthy for one day won't make you drop major pounds, but it can help you ward off last-minute beauty emergencies like blemishes, puffy eyes, and bloat. For best results, Kerry Bajaj, a health coach at New York City's Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, recommends steering clear of gluten, dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages just before the wedding day. So what can you eat? Here she lays out the ideal meal plan.
Protein plus healthy fat is a recipe for boundless energy. Opt for a smoothie, Bajaj says, so that it's easy to digest. And be sure to choose one loaded with greens, since they promote glowing skin. Her favorite recipe: Puree the following ingredients together until smooth: 1 packet of a dairy-free, vegetarian protein supplement (try Be Well Sustain -- it's made with pea protein!), 1 packet of a mixed green powder, like Green Vibrance, 4 ounces of water, 4 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 of a frozen banana, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of shredded, unsweetened coconut, 2 to 4 ice cubes, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
A salad packed with lean protein and veggies will leave you satiated while feeling light as a feather. (Just stay away from things like cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and cauliflower, since they can cause bloating, Bajaj says.) Mix together 2 cups of baby spinach leaves, 6 ounces of grilled chicken, 1/2 of a sliced avocado, 1/2 cup of thinly sliced button mushrooms, 1/4 cup of walnuts, and 1/4 cup of a small, thinly sliced red onion, and squeeze lemon juice on top. Can't go totally without carbs? Eat a sweet potato on the side. They contain beta carotene -- one of the best glow getters.
Rajaj recommends picking up a green juice in the afternoon, preferably with aloe vera, which moisturizes and heals from the inside out. We like Organic Avenue's Aloe Shot, which you can add to your favorite green juice. Or, for an equally energizing, beautifying alternative, nosh on half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt.
Since this meal will likely be eaten at your rehearsal dinner, try planning ahead to ensure there's a healthy option, like salmon, on the menu. If you'll be cooking at home, try this recipe for roasted salmon with mustard and dill. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and squeeze lemon juice over a 6-ounce salmon fillet. Drizzle with olive oil, spread a light, even layer of stone ground mustard over it, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dill. Place the salmon in a lightly oiled pan and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until tender and flaky.
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