I have a confession. Before I got engaged, I really didn’t think twice about my nutrition and fitness routine. Who am I kidding? I didn’t even have a routine! Thanks to one of my co-workers, I was encouraged to attend a Boot Camp class at work (yes, I’m so lucky we have a gym at the office)! I’ve been going to Boot Camp class and working out consistently for two months now and I couldn’t be happier with my new wellness plan. Now, I just need to be more mindful of what I eat. With the holidays right around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk with Carlene Thomas, a dietitian nutritionist who helps brides-to-be learn how to be happier and healthier before and beyond saying, “I do” through her blog Healthfully Ever After. Read on for a Q&A featuring Carlene’s nutrition tips for brides, foods you should embrace (and avoid) and a bevy of healthy recipes to try during the holiday season!
For those who aren’t familiar, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Carlene Thomas and I’m a dietitian nutritionist helping brides learn how to be happier and healthier before and beyond saying “I do” through my business and blog Healthfully Ever After. My absolute passion is Wedding Wellness Nutrition and food in general (seriously, I get so excited about food). I’m also so lucky I get to develop healthy recipes for companies and do some food styling! Is this real life?
How do you work with brides to get them ready for their wedding?
It starts as a health monogram. I know it’s popular to go on a ‘plan’ or a cleanse, but the reality is that every bride is different. I start from the bottom up with ever bride to work through food preferences, food philosophies (pescatarian, vegan, local only-done!), and where they are in their healthy habits starting today. We start where you are and find what will work best to get you results. After an initial session and setting a plan of action, we keep in touch so I can give you support and fast feedback to problem solve along the way. When clients go on vacation and need healthy travel snacks, it’s something we address immediately. Or if you are realizing you need major help at the grocery store, we go on a grocery date and walk through aisle by aisle to assess your choices and pick the best options. And if you really only want a meal plan, we can do that too.
My priority is providing clarity in the confusing messages in the nutrition world. I swear there’s always a new study or ‘breaking news’ that tells you one day something will kill you and the next that it’s the fountain of youth. I sift through the noise to give you the bottom line.
I’m also super excited to announce some big news: I have a Wedding Wellness e-book that’s coming out soon that has meal plans and all of my secrets for a wedding ready body and mind. Stay tuned!
Do you think women are more inspired to live a healthier lifestyle once they are engaged and planning for a wedding versus any other time in their life? If so, why?
My entire vision of Wedding Wellness is a little off the beaten path in terms of what is expected of you as a bride. A staggering 80 percent of brides automatically assume they need to lose weight for the wedding and begin to change nutrition and exercise behaviors. That’s crazy. It almost seems as though a switch goes off once you are finished showing friends and family your ring. It starts as wanting to secure your ideal happiness every time you look at those wedding pictures you see in every relative’s house. But here’s the thing…why not use that motivation to be healthier, slimmer, stronger or however you are describing it, to create lasting change and an even bigger effect? That’s logic.