After all the excessive planning, the breakdowns that might have happened (on several occasions), and the never-ending excitement and anticipation, your wedding day is finally here.
Depending on what time your ceremony is, you and your bridal party might be preoccupied with the pre-ceremony beauty preparations of make-up and hair... preoccupied enough that you might forget to eat.
Knowing that your next meal isn't until the early evening, this could turn you into a hangry bride, willing to gobble up everything and anything that's in your path.
But, are there certain foods you should be making sure you're eating (and not eating) on your wedding day?
Keri Gans, MS, RD, shares which foods you should be eating and which you should be avoiding on your wedding day.
relRadioMD Presents: Melanie Cole's Health Radio | Original Air Date: June 4, 2015
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest: Keri Gans, MS, RD
It’s time for Health Radio with Melanie Cole.
MELANIE: After all that planning, it’s so exciting. June’s coming up. The big day is coming up. Maybe you’ve had a few breakdowns. You’re a little nervous. You’re worried your dress won’t fit. All of these things go into that big exciting wedding day. But do you eat? Are you too sick to your stomach with nerves to eat in the morning? You’ve paid for all this great food at the wedding. Are you busy going from person to person saying hello to everybody that you never even get to try the little tenderloin sandwiches that you paid so much for? What are you supposed to eat the morning and the afternoon of your wedding day? And how do you keep yourself hydrated and getting good nutrition so that you’re at your best because you will look better, too.
My guest is Keri Gans. She’s a registered dietician, spokesperson and media personality with a private practice in New York City. Welcome to the show, Keri.
So, the wedding day. These ladies-- they know their next meal isn’t until maybe the evening. Do you eat in the morning? How do you not make yourself sick to your stomach?
KERI: You have to eat in the morning, because if you don’t – you hear about the bride who hasn’t eaten anything all day and then has a couple of drinks at her wedding, and it’s not always the best plan. You don’t want to approach the big night without food because if you start to drink at your wedding and you haven’t eaten anything, obviously, that liquor is going to go straight to your head.
MELANIE: Absolutely. Besides the fact that you want to be comfortable in your stomach, so you don’t want to get bloated. You want to make sure you poop plenty so that you don’t have to do that once you put that dress on.
KERI: Right, because you want to feel your best. What I tell most of my brides-to-be is that first and foremost: don’t try to have something you’ve never had before. Rule number one. The same way you don’t run a marathon without having something –
MELANIE: I was going to say it’s like running a marathon!
KERI: You know, there are certain rules of thumb. If you haven’t ever had that before or you haven’t eaten it in a long time, now is not the day to do it. But I feel a really safe way and an easy dish to have would be scrambled eggs. You want to get some protein in you. You start it with some scrambled eggs and some whole wheat bread. A lot of brides are thinking, “Wait a second, I haven’t had bread for two months.” Well, that’s another story. They shouldn’t have been avoiding the bread. But get a little whole grain in there for the quick energy. It’s a combination of some protein and some carbs is what you’re really looking for. So, scrambled eggs and some toast could be great. Or, you could even do a Greek yogurt and put a little high fiber cereal in there and maybe a little fresh fruit. You’re looking for that combination of protein and some carbohydrates.
MELANIE: Okay, scrambled eggs, I think, is a brilliant idea with a nice piece of toast. As you pointed out, it’s very similar to marathon day. You don’t want to try anything new, you want to keep foods that are settling on your stomach and good, but you do need those carbohydrates to soak up anything you might start drinking.
KERI: Right. And you need the carbohydrates for the energy! Because, really, it is our fuel, and you’re going to need to be supercharged that day. I mean, you might already be because of nerves, but it’s good to have it naturally coming from your body as well.
MELANIE: That’s right. It is. So, you know, you’re worried about being bloated, and you’ve mentioned these great foods that don’t typically bloat you. Do you have a few small meals? Do you just eat your breakfast and then wait? Do you eat a little bit after?
KERI: I think you need to eat again. You’re going to be up early. It’s going to be a long day. Who knows when your hair and make-up is going to start? So, basically eat your breakfast before you get to wherever or the person’s coming to you to you start the long day of getting prepped and groomed and looking like your best. And that’s even before you start with all the photographs. It’s just a very long day, as we know. I really feel like – I mentioned the yogurt earlier in the day, but that could be even just a quick, little, easy snack--something that you can just take with a spoon. You really don’t want to have to sit down and really take a lot of time to eat a meal, because you’re not going to do it. So, little snacks up until the point of when you’re getting your pictures taken and then the actual event starts could be recommended because most people, once the event starts, as much as I’m going to say, “Eat that amazing meal that you paid for”, you’re most likely not going to.
MELANIE: Yes, you know what? My friends and my bridesmaids and such forced me to. They grabbed me and said, “Mellie, sit down.” And then I sat there and I took some bites of food, and I was glad I did because it kept my energy level up. Even though you’ve got these endorphins, you’ve got this adrenaline going like nothing’s going to make you tired. But the energy--
What about foods to calm your nerves? Is there something you can have for lunch? Or something you recommend besides a mimosa while you’re getting dressed that can help calm those nerves?
KERI: Oh, how did you know I was going to recommend that?!
MELANIE: Well, I mean, that’s my favorite thing! So, something to calm your nerves?
KERI: If you are a tea drinker, there is something about tea that is very calming. An actual food…I mean the whole thing is – what I keep saying is – you want to eat simple meals. I can’t say a particular type of food is going to all of a sudden make you calm. But I think if there’s less fuss and less to do, that is calming in itself. If there’s something like just even grabbing a granola type bar, just nibbling on one of those, taking small bites. Your stomach is going to be…those butterflies are there. You’re not going to feel like eating. So, you don’t necessarily want to push yourself, but you also want to take care of yourself. And taking care of yourself means you need to have something; even some berries that you can just pick with your fingers – finger foods that you can just pop in your mouth, especially once you’re getting your makeup done. You’re not going to want to be biting down into a big sandwich (even though I love sandwiches), you want little foods that you can just pop into your mouth and make it easy to eat. That in itself can be calming.
MELANIE: That’s true, and you’re exactly right. Something easy to eat. As a Jewish girl, we take our pictures before the wedding, so we’re still looking all nice and fresh and our lipstick is all still perfect and maybe people are milling around having food while you’re taking pictures. That way when it’s time, after you’ve gotten married, you don’t have to stand there taking pictures. You get to enjoy your own appetizers, again, that you’re spending so much money for. But then there’s that whole eating, messing up your lipstick. So, you want to make sure to get the morning, to get the afternoon, to drink tea, to eat these calming foods, these ones that are not going to mess around. Are there any foods you would want people – I know you said at the beginning, “No foods you haven’t tried before” – but are there any things you really want people to avoid? Like high fibers that will make you gassy? Yikes.
KERI: I think what I mostly tell them to avoid is very salty food. Because, again we want to be in that dress feeling just great, so we don’t want anything that is going to add to us feeling bloated. Even though you think of something like tomato juice could be very soothing; some tomato juices are high in sodium. So, read labels. The same way cottage cheese could be a great, easy thing to eat with a spoon, but make sure you’re getting a low sodium version because you don’t want to eat anything with a lot of salt. And you definitely don’t want to eat anything fried or greasy, but I think that’s a no brainer. I don’t really think any bride is about to do that.
MELANIE: No, I don’t think so either. I think the fried food is pretty much off the table that day. The tomato juice, as you say, can be salty, but if you add a little vodka and Tabasco then it becomes a Bloody Mary.
KERI: And then it becomes calming!
MELANIE: And then it becomes calming, so it’s all in how you put that food out there. We have about a minute left here. Keri, you are such a great guest and lots of fun. Please give the listeners your very best advice for wedding day jitters, foods to avoid, foods that are good, and keeping that slim figure all through the day but keeping your energy level up so that you don’t start drinking champagne and it goes right to your head.
KERI: The most important thing for the listeners is don’t not eat. Find something that you do enjoy, your typical usual foods, make them easy finger foods, eat small portions, and eat right up until the time where you’re just saying, “I don’t have any time to eat.” And most of all, have fun. It’s your wedding day. You’ve had weeks of stressing over this. Most important is just to enjoy the day.
MELANIE: Absolutely great advice. It really is the most important thing. Enjoy the day, and if there’s a few little snafus, don’t let it freak you out. Because in the long run, you’re going to have a great day and you’re going to be married and that’s what it’s really all about.
You’re listening to Health Radio right here on RadioMD. Scroll around. Learn something with us. Share these shows with your friends because that’s how we all learn together. This is Melanie Cole. Stay well.