7 WAYS TO BEAT BLOAT BEFORE YOUR BIG DAY

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From the moment you say “Yes” to the moment you say “I do”, your mind is flooded with everlasting thoughts of florals, guests lists, all things white (so much white!), and how you envision yourself looking and feeling on your wedding day. I think it’s safe to say we all just want to look like the best version of ourselves, have that subtle bridal glow, feel relaxed, light, and ridiculously happy. 

Through all the wedding chaos, though, it’s easy to get so caught up in things that we might forget to eat a meal, sleep a bit less than our typical eight hours, and stress about pretty much everything. The problem is, that all of those things don’t exactly create a healthy environment for us to actually be and look like the best versions of ourselves when it comes our time to walk down the aisle. If that’s the case for you, here are a few of my favorite ways to beat bloat and stay on track before your big day, guaranteeing the healthiest and happiest you! 

1. Drink H2O…preferably with lemon!
As soon as you wake in the morning, you should immediately drink 1 liter of room temperature water to rev up your metabolism and digestion. Most of the time we mistake dehydration for hunger, and by the time we are thirsty our bodies are already very dehydrated and our metabolism slowed down. Adding lemon to a glass of warm water helps balance our bodies pH levels, supports immune health, aids in weight loss and digestion, clears skin, and acts as a natural diuretic flushing out toxins from the body at an increased rate of urination, thus keeping our urinary tracts healthy. 

2. Break a sweat.
Exercise is so important for our health, physically and mentally! For me, exercise is my meditation and a mandatory part of my daily routine. Whatever inspires you to move, just be sure to get out there and breathe, feel the burn, and sweat out those toxins!

3. Start your day with a green smoothie, and enjoy nourish bowls for lunch and dinner!
To beat bloat, I highly recommend adding dark-leafy greens (hello fiber!) to every meal you consume, but especially first thing with a big handful straight into the blender. Combining greens with protein, healthy fat, fiber (and any superfood additions you’d like!), leaves you feeling full and satisfied for hours and creates a great foundation for you to make wonderful choices the rest of the day (check out recipes for the perfect green smoothie combos here and here). Following that smoothie with a nourish bowl for your remaining meals (a combo of protein, fiber, healthy fat, optional complex carbs, and more greens) is a guaranteed way to combat bloat. Boost these meals with things like apple cider vinegar (yes, in your smoothie too!), fresh ginger, hemp seeds, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, and fresh herbs that have detoxifying effects like parsley and cilantro. 

4. Avoid inflammatory foods.
Inflammation is not a word you want associated with your wedding. Stay away from packaged, processed, and refined foods, too much salt, and of course dairy, gluten, and soy…all of which can also lead to hormonal breakouts that you do not have time for. Instead, consume anti-inflammatory rich foods such as walnuts, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, berries, and avocados.

5. Practice safe snacking.
You should aim to eat three whole-food meals that provide you with all of the nutrients you need to get through your day and keep your blood-sugar stable. However, if you feel the hunger pains coming on, try drinking a glass of room temperature water first to see if it subsides. If that doesn’t work, have a healthy fat and protein filled snack such as veggies with avocado or hummus (if beans don’t cause you bloat), or a small handful of raw nuts or seeds. 

6. Chew your way to optimal digestion. 
In order to achieve optimal digestion, you must chew your food properly. By chewing each bite thoroughly, you are allowing your body to absorb more nutrients from the food you are eating, plus you are helping relieve any digestive issues such as gas and bloating. Put down your fork in between each bite, take a deep breath, and pace yourself. Taking a digestive enzyme after every meal, as well as avoiding too many cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and raw kale are also good ideas. Even though these foods are incredibly nutritious, they are harder for the body to break down and digest. If you eat a strictly plant-based diet but still get the occasional gas and bloating from too many beans and whole grains, try cooking these items with a thumb-size strip of kombu seaweed. The grain will have soaked up all of the seaweed’s amazing nutrients making it more alkaline, and the raffinose sugars in beans (which is what causes bloating) will have been broken down in the cooking process. Kombu is high in iodine, which is essential for thyroid functioning, as well as iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Simply toss the kombu after cooking! 

7. Don’t be afraid of fat! 
In fact, eat some at every meal. Healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health and keeping your body regular. They also promote healthy cell production and blood-sugar stabilization, beautiful skin and hair, and help to turn off those hangry hunger hormones. 

xo Nutritiously Natalie