Pre-wedding fitness

Delicious pre-wedding recipes to help you get in shape

13 Apr 2018

To ensure you look and feel fabulous on your big day, try these healthy, hearty and heavenly recipes from nutritionist and consultant, Jenna Hope

The stress of planning a wedding can run you down, so it's always important to ensure a balanced diet that is full of essential vitamins, minerals and general goodness. By maintaining overall wellbeing before the wedding and taking care of your body, you can rest assured that you will look your best on your big day.

Here are 11 pre-wedding recipes from nutritionist and consultant, Jenna Hope, which are both easy to make and super healthy. Not only will they transform your pre-wedding diet by promoting health from the inside-out, but they will also help you get in shape and make you feel better than ever before. 

Vanilla and Coconut Chia Pudding

This recipe is rich in omega-3 which promotes healthy glowing skin and helps with brain function (essential for planning the big day). It’s also a great breakfast when you’re on the go as it can be prepared the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 9 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut yoghurt (Coyo)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp honey (or to taste) (or maple syrup for a vegan option)
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1 tbsp chopped pistachios

Method:

1. Stir all the ingredients together in a jar or a bowl and set in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight).

2. The mix will form a porridge like consistency. You may need to add some more almond milk to loosen the mix up.

3. Top with strawberries and pistachios. Serve and enjoy.

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Tahini, Apricot and Pecan Energy Balls

The nuts in this recipe help to release the sugars from the dates at a much slower rate, keeping you fuller for longer and preventing those energy dips.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut for rolling

Method:

1. Blitz the pecans in a food processor.

2. Add the apricots, dates, cinnamon, vanilla and tahini.

3. Blitz until well combined and a dough like texture forms.

4. Shape the dough into balls (roughly the size of a gold ball) and roll in the coconut. Chill in the fridge before consuming.

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Spinach and strawberry salad

This is the perfect summer salad to serve with a piece of white fish. The avocado is high in Vitamin E which helps with collagen production and the spinach and strawberries are great sources of antioxidants which help to remove free radicals.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1 avocado
  • Handful of mint leaves

For the dressing:

  • 3-4 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2-3 tsp honey
  • Pinch of salt to taste

Method:

1. Slice the strawberries and the avocado into thin slices.

2. Place the spinach in a bowl and add the strawberries, avocado and mint leaves

3. Combine the avocado oil, honey and salt in a bowl. Dress before serving. 

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Mixed bean salad

The beans are a source of plant-based protein, perfect for those following a vegan diet. They’re also high in fibre to help support your gut and improve bowel movement.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans 400g mixed beans
  • 1 romano pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 pack of green olives

For the dressing: 

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)
  • Pinch of pepper (to taste)

Method:

1. Finely dice the onion, pepper, cucumber and celery.

2. Add the chopped vegetables, beans and olives to a bowl and mix together.

3. In a separate bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix well. Pour over the salad when ready to serve.

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Banana and almond breakfast muffins

These muffins can be made ahead of time and are the answer to your sweeter cravings. The banana is rich in potassium and natural sugars which make them a great pre-workout breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds

Method:

1. Mash the bananas until smooth.

2. Add eggs, vanilla and honey to the bananas and stir together.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the ground and flaked almonds, cinnamon
and baking powder
.

4. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together.

5. Pour the mixture into muffin cases. Fill each case until they’re about half full.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C.

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Salmon Niçoise

This is a twist on the classic tuna Niçoise. The salmon is a great source of vitamin B12 required for energy production. B12 can be difficult to obtain on a vegan diet and therefore individuals on a vegan diet may require supplementation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pieces of salmon
  • Bag of mixed leaves
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 boiled egg
  • Handful of black olives
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • Juice of half a lemon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potato into medium sized cubes.

3. Toss the sweet potato in the olive oil, salt and pepper

4. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.

5. Place the salmon on tin foil on a baking tray and add mixed herbs, salt, pepper and the lemon juice

6. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.

7. Slice the cucumber and add to a bowl along with the olives and the salad leaves.

8. To finish add the salmon, sweet potato and sliced boiled egg.

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Cinnamon apple rings:

This recipe is a really lovely way to spice up your five a-day. The cinnamon also helps to control blood sugar and so can be really useful to curb those cravings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 120°C.

2. Core the apples and finely slice them either by hand or with a mandolin. 

3. Place on a lined baking tray and sprinkle them with cinnamon and honey.

4. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until dry. Allow to cool before enjoying.

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Quinoa and roasted vegetable salad

Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids which are the building blocks for protein. Protein is needed for the regeneration of your skin cells.

Ingredients:

  • 160g quinoa (cook per instructions on the pack)
  • 4 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 romano peppers
  • 100g chopped onions
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs

For the dressing:

  • 100g tahini
  • 50ml of water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Generous amount of salt

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Cook the quinoa following instructions on the packet.

3. Chop the carrots, mushrooms and peppers into medium sized pieces. Toss the vegetables in a bowl in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper and the mixed herbs.

4. Roast them in the oven for 40 minutes.

5. Sauté the onions in the olive oil with salt, pepper and rosemary and cook until the onions have browned.

6. Stir the onions into the cooked quinoa and place in bowl.

7. Add the roasted vegetables to the quinoa mix and serve.

8. For the dressing combine all the ingredients together and beat until a silky smooth consistency develops. Serve with the salad.

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Roasted chickpea and carrot salad

This recipe is bursting with spices and flavour. The chickpeas are a great source of plant-based iron which helps to maintain energy levels.

Ingredients:

  • 350g chickpeas(drained)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 tsp dried cumin
  • 2 tsp dried paprika
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2.Rinse and dry the chickpeas, toss them in the 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp cumin,1 tsp paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Peel and slice the carrots into thin, long strips (like chips).

4. Toss the carrots in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, tsp paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Place the chickpeas and carrots onto a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes.

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Turmeric and coconut smoothie bowl

This smoothie can be made in advance and taken to work on-the-go. The coconut yoghurt provides a source of healthy fats to help keep you full throughout the morning and the turmeric is rich in antioxidants which help to protect the skin against damage.

Ingredients:

  • 1 overly ripe banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp coconut yogurt
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut (plus extra for topping)

Toppings: a variety of nuts and seeds

Method:

1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Top with coconut, nuts and seeds.

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Shakshuka

This recipe is ideal for a hearty breakfast. It’s loaded with vegetables which contribute to your five a-day. The eggs are also rich in Vitamin D which contributes to improved mood.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 red pepper (sliced)
  • 1 courgette (diced)
  • 1 portobello mushroom (sliced)
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 garlic clove (grated)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1. Sauté the onions with the spices, garlic and olive oil.

2. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook down for around 5-6 minutes on a medium heat.

3. Once cooked, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until soft.

4. Make indents in the mixture and crack the eggs into the holes.

5. Cover pan until eggs are cooked around 10 minutes on a low heat.