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The countdown is on! Most brides feel pressure to look their best on their wedding day, but figuring out exactly what to do to reach that goal can be tricky. So registered dieticians Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh, of C&J Nutrition, made it simple. Here are seven things you can do right to look better before you walk down the aisle.
Say no to crash diets
First things first, don't go crazy and cut out major food groups, like carbs. It's all about moderation. "Not eating enough each day can cause your energy level, mood, skin, hair and health to suffer," C&J says. Instead of crashing, they advise to limit white carbs, cut foods with added sugars and make sure your plate is balanced at each meal: one cup of whole grains, three to four ounces lean protein and one to two cups veggies or a mix of fruits and veggies.
Eat (naturally) orange foods
Say hello to glowing skin and shiny hair on your wedding day. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, mango and other orange fruits and veggies contain two beauty powerhouses, vitamin C and beta-carotene, C&J says. Vitamin C promotes collagen, which makes your skin firmer and hair stronger, and beta-carotene is needed for cells to grow, so it's a healthy hair must.
Meditation will help you relax from pre-wedding stress and literally get your beauty sleep. "Meditation can help with focus at work, better sleep, improved mood and even improved relationships," C&J says. Not sure how to get started? C&J recommends trying their favorite meditation app, Simply Being (available on iTunes). Start with a five-minute meditation and let the soothing voice guide you.
Drink lots of water
The oldest beauty adage is the best advice. "Without enough water, your body doesn't work efficiently to deliver nutrients or maintain proper cell growth," according to C&J. If you're all about the numbers, try a water calculator to determine how much you should be drinking.
DIY soft skin from your kitchen
Try this mixture: Mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar with enough coconut oil to make a paste. Use it as a scrub on your body (it's too rough for your face) — you'll have better skin instantly.
Do an "open your heart" stretch
C&J recommends doing this stretch so your posture is stellar on your wedding day: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Reach your hands behind you and clasp your hands together on your lower back. Looking straight ahead, pull your shoulder blades together while lifting your hands up and away from you. To intensify the stretch, bend at your hips and fold over your legs. Hold for five breaths. Repeat whenever you feel hunched over.
Drink (and wear) green tea
Green tea delivers a boost of potent antioxidants, according to C&J. Drink it in the morning to hydrate and then reserve a teaspoon of the tea to apply to your skin later. Pat on a soaked cotton pad after washing and before moisturizing for a toning boost.