“Glowing, modern beauty (the exact kind you want on your wedding day!) comes from fueling our body, not depriving it of nutrition,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN and author of the Superfood Swap. It’s this forward-thinking attitude of powering—not restricting—diets for better performance that’s taking over the health space for brides who want to maximize their natural potential. The Chicago-based nutrition guru remembers her own wedding prep, where the intention was to “feel energetic and fully enjoy the whole experience.” The straightforward logic ties directly to the concept of reclaiming control in your day-to-day routine rather than forming bad habits and skipping meals altogether. “What we eat has the power to completely change how we look and feel—the bottom line is, if you want gorgeous hair, skin, nails, and energy for the big day, your body needs the right nutrients,” says Blatner. “With all the planning, parties, and errands that happen around a wedding, it can feel really hard to have good nutrition. Luckily, there are lots of healthy, convenient foods and short-cuts that you can use to keep yourself well-fueled.” For days that you have time for a sit-down snack, Blatner suggests stocking up on pre-cut veggies, salad kits, and tubs of hummus. Instead of grabbing a fast food alternative, she suggests keeping a high-quality protein powder on hand for on-the-go smoothies. Luckily, a new guard of balanced meal-supplement options are sweeping the market.
THE BODY FUEL REVOLUTION
“Planning a wedding should be fun—brides shouldn’t be concerned about nutrition on top of everything else,” notes Elise Tresley of mēle, the NYC-based wellness food company she founded with Lauren Benbassat with the philosophy that food should be empowering—not overpowering. “Healthy eating should be easier than it is currently,” Tresley notes. “With so many preservatives, processed food, and added sugar out there, we’ve eliminated those unnecessary ingredients from the equation.” Benbassat agrees. “I wish we had created mēle before my wedding! My eating habits were awful—I was skipping meals often and grabbing quick snacks at the office. The engagement year and planning was such an incredible time, but I definitely wasn’t as focused on self-care and nutrition with that to-do list!” The pair’s brainchild? A balanced meal, reimagined in shake form, made of non-GMO freeze-dried fruits, veggies, nuts, and protein that offers a solution for brides who aren’t trying to lose weight, but rather searching for a nourishing option on days that may have included a rushed side of French fries ordered between fittings and meetings. Instead of empty calories, the whole foods funneled into mēle’s blends provide an optimal balance of complex carbs, fiber, healthy fats, and omegas to collectively boost productivity, decrease hunger, and promote gut health. And it’s the latter that really speaks to feel-good intentions.
THE FOOD x MOOD CONNECTION
The growing research and resources that link gut health to mental health are solidifying the idea that our weight isn’t what makes us feel sluggish—it’s what we’re eating. And though pre and probiotics are helpful tools, keeping quality ingredients in mind is equally important. “For instance, bananas (a main ingredient in Cocoa-nut and Rawberry) are really beneficial for the gut as they have high prebiotic content and contain naturally occurring fibers that help reduce bloating and increase good bacteria,” notes Tresley, who references the book The Mind-Gut Connection as a source of her latest studies. “I never get tired of talking about gut health—it’s fascinating!” she enthuses with a laugh. “The gut is the largest storage facility for serotonin (with approximately 95% of the body’s stores) which is vital for sleep, appetite, pain, and mood.”
With that in mind, the pair intentionally shirked inflammation-inducing preservatives with their dried powder technique that maintains nutrient structure. “Some of the heaviest offenders are dairy, hence why we carry both a plant-based line and use whey-isolate which is 90% lactose free,” says Benbassat of the inflammation issue, pointing out that added sugars and soy are sneaky culprits worth skipping. “One of the biggest foundations in the development of our recipes was cutting all of that out and getting back to real foods with real healing powers.” And they aren’t the only teams that are recognizing the new path to total-body wellness. Celebrity trainers like Team Maloney recommend Previnex’s probiotic-packed vegan powders for clients seeking a futuristic alternative to sugary, dairy-driven, chalky tasting versions of decades past. Even Probar Live has developed a sugar-free nutrition bar that blends minimally processed ingredients with probiotics for a snackable option that can be toted easily to the next appointment.
Below, a handful of healthy body fuels and meal supplement options that won’t waste your time: