3 Ways to Make Soulful Healthy Eating Decisions (SHED) for the Big Day from Alexandra Hayden Shea of Shed for the Wed
The world is filled with wedding crash diets, “detoxes,” and fitness boot camps. While we all want to look and feel our best for the big day- most of the information out there will have you starving and miserable before you get there. The last thing anyone wants is to lose weight for the wedding and then add on more right after! The key is eating in a way that fuels your body and soul! If your soul isn’t on board, it won’t stick. These tips will help you take sustainable, healthy lifestyle tips with you into your life as a newlywed!
1. Skip the refined sugar
Challenging I know. But avoiding refined sugar can be one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself–and it makes you feel sooo good! Refined sugars can bring on blood sugar crashes, which are the enemy of looking and feeling your best! Of course an occasional treat is fine–but you want to kick the daily habit. It’s also important to read ingredient labels, you would be surprised where you will find these bad boys! It’s not just in the obvious places like chocolate and ice cream. Crackers, “health” cereals, and yogurt are often unsuspecting culprits!
But never fear, this doesn’t mean sweetness is gone from your life forever! You can substitute (in moderation) with natural options like honey, pure maple syrup and fresh or frozen fruit! One of my favorite desserts is banana “nice” cream– frozen bananas blended with chocolate plant-based protein powder for a delicious fake out!
2. Eat the rainbow
And no, I don’t mean Skittles.
Fueling your body with a variety of colors via your fruits and vegetables ensures that you are getting a diverse range of nutrients! Many diets will have you focus on your protein intake while throwing carbohydrates (yep-veggies and fruits are carbs!) to the wayside. While making sure you are getting enough protein is important–your body thrives when you nourish it with vegetables and fruits! No one wants to eat the same thing 5x a week (yeah I’m looking at you chicken breasts and green beans!!) for the sake of convenience. While that may be okay in the short term, you are missing out on all the other glorious veggies out there! Eating your veggies fuels that bridal glow and helps your skin look ahmazing. And have I mentioned fiber? Plants are chock full of it! Fiber fills you up and is your number one BFF if you are looking to lose weight for your wedding!
3. Kill the distractions
We are all on the run all of the time. And in our social media obsessed world it is hard not to be addicted to the scroll!
But eating time should be sacred. It should be a time when we connect back to ourselves and our loved ones. Try using dinner time to catch up on the day with your fiancé/e or flatmate. It’s a great ritual to build and its an awesome way to connect. At the very least, try not to eat while watching TV, looking at your phone, or a computer screen. By doing so you will be able to really cue into your own body and slow down. You can start by paying attention to your chewing and appreciating the flavors of each bite. Try to taste each of the spices (especially fun if you are out to eat!).
By doing this and tapping into a more mindful state of eating you will know when you are satisfied and you will eat only as much as your body needs. Bonus points: it’s essentially a form of meditation! It’s another way of being fully present in the moment–the best way to stay Zen for the Wed!
Bonus tip: Prioritize nourishing eats, and focus less on eliminating “bad” foods
I know, my first tip was to cut something out of your diet. And while you definitely want to cut back on refined sugar- sometimes the most sustainable way to live a more healthy lifestyle is by focusing on adding healthy foods into your diet. A great way to start is by evaluating yourself at the end of each day. Try out the following questions:
- Did I eat leafy greens today?
- Did I eat other vegetables?
- Did I eat fruit?
- Where did I get protein today?
- How much water did I drink?
Foods are not inherently good or bad. They are just food. By switching your mindset to prioritizing foods that are healthy for you, you will have less room in your mind and belly for less healthy options and the negative headspace that often surrounds them. If you have a treat, you have a treat! It’s less pressure all around!
Alexandra Hayden Shea is a holistic health coach and yoga instructor (RYT-200). You can find her at shedforthewed.com where she helps brides make soulful, healthy, eating decisions (SHED) for the big day and beyond! Follow along with her on Instagram and on Facebook.
Photo credit: http://victoriagamlenphotography.com/