The Last Meal

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Butterflies in your stomach and a million things on your mind; that’s to be expected as your wedding day approaches. But don’t let your pending nuptials cloud your common sense, say nutrition experts.

Eating regular meals can prevent you from becoming stressed, or at least less so than you’d otherwise be with the wedding countdown, and choosing the right foods will give you an extra energy boost. Your food and beverage selections also can mean the difference between a tight- or comfortable-fitting dress (or tux).

Become aware of what you’re eating a few days before the wedding, says Suzanne Farrell, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

“If you’re stressed you might be eating more processed foods, and more high-sodium foods,” says Farrell, who’s based in Denver.

You might also be eating rich, high-calorie foods and having several alcoholic drinks at your rehearsal dinner. The sodium and fat can make you feel uncomfortably full; alcohol can leave you with a miserable headache on your wedding day.

Choose lean protein, such as fish or chicken, and skip heavy sauces at the dinner. Order steamed vegetables as the side dish – not french fries.

On your wedding day, eat regularly, keeping each meal small, says Dawn Jackson Blattner, a registered dietitian in Chicago.

“You don’t want to faint at the altar because of low blood sugar,” says Blattner, author of “The Flexitarian Diet” (McGraw Hill, 2009).

Begin the day with a yogurt parfait with a little fruit and granola.

“The probiotics [in the yogurt]] will help digestion,” says Blattner.

For lunch, she recommends half a turkey sandwich with a small pineapple fruit cup.

“The pineapple has a digestive enzyme so you have a calm stomach for the rest of the day,” says the Chicagoan.

Stay away from carbonated beverages, which can make you feel bloated and distend your stomach. “You want your dress to fit,” says Blattner.

Slow down as you eat. Racing through meals also can leave your system churning.

Although gum-chewing may calm your nerves, sugar alcohols in some products and the air you swallow while chewing also can cause bloating, according to Blattner. Hot or cold peppermint tea or ginger tea are soothing alternatives.

“Peppermint and ginger will hydrate you and reduce stomach upset,” says Blattner.

With everything on your mind, you may not remember the wedding-day rules, so appoint your maid of honor or best man to remind you to take food and drink breaks. Or, put the whole wedding party on the menu plan.

“That’s what I did for my wedding,” says Blattner, who was recently married.

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