The royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was almost exactly a year ago, and at the virtual HQ of Peaceful Dumpling, we’re still not over it. The anticipation felt around the world, the lush springtime setting, Meghan’s tradition-disrupting fresh and dewy look, and, of course, that cake. With delicate flavors of lemon and elderflower, the royal wedding cake sounded positively divine. (Naturally, one of our très talented recipe developers created a vegan version!)
The nutritionist behind the food at the royal wedding was the royal family’s nutritional adviser, Gabriela Peacock. Recently, she shared her advice for healthy eating and weight loss with The Chalkboard, and her protocol is comprised no-nonsense tips that can be applied to almost any lifestyle (read: you don’t have to be a pampered royal to pull them off!). The following are some incredibly insightful strategies for maintaining a healthy weight, managing blood sugar, and staying energized you can implement today.
Diet Tips from the Nutritional Adviser to the Royal Family, Gabriela Peacock
1. Including fiber with your meals will help you with portion control. Whether or not your aim is to lose weight, sticking to moderate portions can help you feel and look your best. “Be more conscious of portion sizes and mindful about the quantity of food on your plate. Try a drink or supplement with glucomannan before eating. Glucomannan is a form of fiber which absorbs the water in your tummy, making you feel fuller when eating less on a portion-controlled plan,” she says. If supplementing with fiber doesn’t appeal to you, aim to fill your plate with high-fiber foods (like whole-food, plant-based options).
“Try to fill most of the remaining space on your plate with fibrous vegetables, leaving only a small portion for whole grains or starchy vegetables,” she adds.
2. Take good care of your blood sugar. “In order to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent an energy slump and avoid cravings, it is essential to eat small well-balanced meals every three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half hours. I advise eating five small meals a day, with breakfast and lunch as the largest meals, and making afternoon or evening meals progressively smaller. Ideally, you should eat your last meal fairly early, and not past 9 pm, to allow for complete digestion.”
Also, be mindful of your caffeine intake. Too much (especially on an empty stomach) can spike your blood sugar and result in crashes and cravings, Peacock says.
3. Never leave the house without a high-protein snack. “I recommend keeping healthy high-protein snacks in your bag. These can help prevent panic-eating on sugary foods when hunger hits. Chocolate protein powder is a great way to keep hunger at bay (and to satisfy a chocolate craving) while keeping blood sugar levels stable.”
4. Eat your beauty foods. Peacock advocates eating the rainbow. “A varied balanced diet is important for glowing skin and strong nails. For a golden glow, and to keep wrinkles at bay, vitamin A is the ticket. You’ll get plenty of it in both orange and dark green vegetables like carrots, spinach, broccoli, and kale. Avocados (and avocado oil) are wonderful moisturizers for making hair shiny and skin soft and supple. They are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids, which provide significant protection for skin from the environmental damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging.” Copy that.
5. Looking to lose weight? Try Prince Harry’s pre-wedding supplement. Peacock is a proponent of savvy supplementing. “Supplements can help to balance your metabolism and blood sugar, keeping you energized while boosting digestion. GP Nutrition makes one called Slim Me that Prince Harry used in the run-up to the royal wedding,” Peacock explains.
She also recommends considering additional supplements depending on your needs. “Try iodine to optimize metabolism through regulation of thyroid hormone production; chromium to help balance blood sugar levels and reduce cravings; manganese to support metabolism of fat and glucose; and green coffee bean extract and green tea extract for added benefits.”
6. Stay hydrated to ensure beauty sleep. “Fatigue is exacerbated by dehydration,” Peacock says. “Dehydration will cause sleep disruption and also compromise energy, cognitive performance and alertness the following day. Ensure you drink plenty of water and non-caffeinated beverages throughout the day, especially the day before any events. If you’re at a social event, regularly sip water and stay aware of caffeine and alcohol intake. If you do have one too many alcoholic drinks, remember to hydrate the following morning with a natural electrolyte drink like coconut water.” I’m going to fill up my reusable water bottle right now!
What healthy eating tips have you tried lately?
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Photo: Gabriela Peacock via Instagram, Amazon