These are nutrition storehouses and are most important for healthy clear skin. Carrots are packed with vitamin A, which not only helps give you a glow but also prevents sun damage. What’s more, they are best had slightly cooked since the bio availability of their vitamins are more when lightly cooked. That said, you can still enjoy them raw as in their natural form they also provide adequate fibre to keep your digestion squeaky clean. Add them to omelettes, soups, salads, pulaos and even to dals!
Loaded with water and vitamins, cucumbers not only cool the skin but also help heal and reduce blemishes caused by stress and a lack of sleep. Don’t just place them on your eyes to reduce dark circles, but eat them daily to add another level of glow to your skin. Like carrots, cucumbers too have fibre to keep you full for longer so you are not snacking in between.
Red Peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange, and since Vitamin C is a highly heat-sensitive vitamin, it’s best to consume red peppers raw so that you can absorb all it has to offer. Red peppers help heal damaged skin and their natural sweetness and crunchy texture helps us keep our hands out of the cookie jar. Enjoy carrot, cucumber and red pepper sticks with a low fat yoghurt dip as an evening detox snack.
Egg Whites and Lean, Easy to Digest Proteins
While the egg yolk does contain many vitamins, we can get all of those sans the calories from veggies and salads. Each egg white contains only 15 calories and three grams of skin tightening and hair protective protein. Enjoy three to five (for just a 100 calories) egg whites a day and don’t forget to add in the veggies for taste, colour and nutrients. Other healthy sources of protein are moong dal (which is the easiest of all dals to digest), fish and chicken. However, sometimes chicken and fish can be heavy to digest and at this time you want to keep it light on your digestive system, so I would recommend limiting non-vegetarian proteins to no more than three times a week, especially if you are not used to eating it every day. On the other hand, many hard-core non-vegetarians need some meat to feel satisfied, in which case it’s best to stick with fish or skinless chicken.
This is perhaps the most important ingredient you are lacking. Drink at least three litres of water a day to help hydrate, de-stress and cleanse your digestive and other systems. Water also helps us prevent eating when we are in fact thirsty since we often confuse thirst for hunger.
While high in fat and a dense source of calories, almonds contain vital essential fatty acids necessary for skin and hair. But enjoy no more than five to seven a day in order to prevent the pounds from piling on.
Of course resistance training is important but it’s not (as most gyms have you think) more important than cardio, which is the base of all exercise programmes. Cardiovascular exercise not only trims the fat but also helps your skin glow and keeps stress at bay. This doesn’t mean you have to tread the treadmill if you don’t like it. Find an enjoyable way to move your body and work up a sweat. Swimming, running and dancing are fabulous not just for your body but also for your mind.
There is a reason for the phrase ‘beauty sleep’. It’s not just what and how much you eat that determines how great your skin and hair look but also how much and how well you sleep. The skin is the largest organ in the body (and don’t forget your head is covered by a nice big layer of it, so hair issues are also skin related, which we tend to forget) and it heals, recovers and grows only when we sleep. Turn off all technology by 10 PM and get to bed by 11 PM for at least three months before your wedding. Skin needs time and consistent rest to truly be at its best.
Getting a regular massage helps improve blood circulation and reduce stress levels, which may be high. It also makes your skin glow while relaxing you at a deep level. A weekly or ideally a massage twice a week can do wonders for your body, mind, heart and soul! These tips can help you get back into shape but remember that many of us forget that its not just for the wedding that we need to look healthy and feel great, but also before and after! So stick with a daily healthy balanced diet that is full of veggies, salads, fruits, lean protein and whole grains and continue to avoid and eat only in moderation any sweets, fried foods and processed foods even after your wedding to stay in perfect form for life.