Erm, excuse us, why did no one tell us about Wahanda until now?
It's a completely brilliant spa website (www.wahanda.com) that lists thousands of salons, spa hotels, day spas, gyms and beauty therapists with incredible deals on treatments, packages and overnight weekends.
It's full of fantastic discounts, like 50 per cent off haircuts and massages, two for one pamper days in luxury spa hotels, great value gift vouchers (for mums and bridesmaids!) and free deals, like skin analysis checks and consultations for procedures such as Botox and teeth whitening.
If you're thinking of booking some facials in the wedding run-up, need a low-cost manicure or want to send a cute, original 'thank you' gift in the post to your maid-of-honour, there's so much on here it would be such a shame to miss out on all the great offers.
There's also a clever 'community' section where real people have reviewed spas and treatments, plus there are blogs from industry experts like personal trainers and facialists.
Erm, excuse us, why did no one tell us about Wahanda until now?
This week, we chat to nutritional therapist Angela Walker about choosing the right eating plan in the run up to your wedding...
What are the classic mistakes most people make that result in weight gain?
Missing meals. Yes, eating less calories than you use is necessary for weight loss, but if you do that by missing meals then it disrupts metabolism, encourages snacking on less healthy options and may cause vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Eating too many refined carbs (white pasta, bread and rice, pastries, cakes etc) is another. When we eat them, their sugar is released very quickly into the bloodstream. We get spikes and then dips in blood sugar, and during the dip we crave for more fast sugar. Longer term, this can encourage the body to store fat especially around the tummy, as well as increasing risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Low-fat diet foods are also a classic mistake. Manufacturers usually replace fat in low fat food with starch, which is just another form of sugar.
For desk-bound brides, what are ideal lunch suggestions?
Firstly, step away from your desk to eat, even if it's just to another part of the office. Anything to avoid that multi-tasking over lunch we are all so good at! It can really have a negative effect on our digestion. Cook extra food in the evening and bring it in for lunch, or if you have a fridge at work, stock up at the beginning of the week with salad ingredients. Then you can just chop up some vegetables, dress with lemon and oil, and serve with chicken, fish or hummus. Soup with veggies, beans and lentils are fairly easy to find in sandwich shops or supermarkets. If you do have to go for a sandwich, then make sure its wholegrain bread and contains as much fresh salad as possible!
What's the best thing to eat on the wedding morning to avoid bloating?
Try to avoid refined grains (such as pasta, white rice or bread) or anything high in fats, as these may be harder to digest. It's best to eat something substantial that will give you a steady release of energy through the day, like porridge made with oats, millet or quinoa. Poached eggs on rye bread with some steamed asparagus and tomatoes are delicious, nutritious and will keep you going. A smoothie is easy to prepare and may be easier to eat if you are feeling a bit nervous - one of my favourites at the moment is avocado, half a cup of almond milk, strawberries or blueberries, plus some pumpkin, sunflower and crushed linseeds - blend together and feel fabulous!
How does your clinic work?
My clinic is based in West London. In the initial consultation we discuss health goals, health history, current eating habits and lifestyle. I also do some in-office testing for digestive imbalance and nutrient deficiencies. During the session I develop a nutritional plan and any recommended supplements and give a variety of tools to help achieve this (meal plans, recipe ideas, shopping lists etc). I work really hard to make sure this is going to be something that will fit into the client's life and work for them. I recommend a follow-up consultation three to four weeks later, and encourage clients to keep in touch via phone or email.
If a bride can't get to London, can you recommend any good nutrition websites?
To find a qualified nutritionist in your area, try Nutri People (www.nutripeople.co.uk) or British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (www.bant.org.uk).
What are you easiest, most practical tricks towards a healthier diet?
Eating healthily is about nourishing your body with delicious food that will make you feel and look fabulous. So think about those benefits rather than the costs and remember you can still have treats, it's just about balance. Do a bit of simple planning: prepare double portions of healthy meals and keep in the fridge, and keep chopped raw veggies, nuts and seeds to snack on, that way when you get home from work you'll have something tasty and nutritious to reach for. Learn how to cook and enjoy beans, peas and lentils: they are versatile, healthy, cheap and tasty! Add them to stews, salads and roasted veggies. Eat at regular times and take your time to eat properly. Prepare the meal or snack, put it on a plate (even if it's just a snack), sit down, enjoy it, and don't do anything else while you are eating.
Eye To Eye in Knightsbridge is offering every reader of BRIDESMAGAZINE.CO.UK a free Dr. LeWinn's facial, worth £40, when they book a comprehensive eye examination, £35.
Working towards creating a complete eye care experience, Eye To Eye offers eye treatments, sight tests and eyewear, and recently celebrated the launch of its Eye Spa, which uses a natural eye care range.
Terms and conditions apply. This offer is valid when you pay full price for sight test, which is £35. Treatments only available on certain dates up until 21st December; please enquire when booking your appointment.
www.eyetoeye-knightsbridge.co.uk or 020 7581 8828.
This week I'm poolside blogging: right now, I'm lying under a parasol in the Mexican sunshine at Las Ventanas in Cabo San Luca, having just finished a dreamy miniature fresh fruit ice lolly and about to jump in the pool for the billionth time today. It's hot. It's very hot. In fact by 7.30am it's 31 degrees. The husband is busy deep-sea diving with crazy Mexicans and the only dilemma of my day is what time I should order my first Margarita. I am in heaven!
Before jetting off, my glossy posse of adorable beauty PR girls ensured I was prepped, primed and protected with a selection of brilliant holiday treats to use from take-off to touchdown and poolside to barstool. Here's what's getting me through the week:
To inject a little glamour into a tedious flight, I took on board Crème de la Mer's Travel Kit. It contains mini sizes of their amazing eye cream, serum and radiant infusion, plus a generous pot of moisturiser, and it was a joy to use. I'm addicted to their face cream anyway, plus you can use it later on in the week to soothe an accidentally sunburnt nose (ahem) - after all, the cream was originally formulated to heal burns and scars. Read all about it here: www.cremedelamer.co.uk
Suntan lotion in two or three varying factors is a good idea. I'm starting with 30, then as the week progresses I'll be heading towards 20 and 15. In my beach bag is UltraSun (www.ultrasun.co.uk) who specialise in all-day sports-level protection, plus Estée Lauder's delicious-smelling Bronze Goddess and Clarins Sun Care - both of which have a lovely gloss finish and don't leave that horrible titanium white residue.
Mascara is pretty much the only make-up item one needs on a hot beachy holiday, and this week's trip was the perfect time to test a new one out. Well, I'm going to make a big statement here so pay attention: Estée Lauder's new Sumptuous Waterproof Mascara is quite possibly THE BEST BRIDAL MASCARA IN THE WORLD. EVER. And I've tried them ALL. It doesn't flake, run or smudge, the brush is bristly (not plastic) so coats the entire circumference of each lash, lengthening them without clumps and basically making one's eyes look glorious and fluttery but not spidery. It's gorgeous and my new best friend. Annoyingly you can't buy it yet, but when it hits shops in a few months you'll be the first to know.
After showering off the day's chlorine, suntan lotion and sticky ice-lolly dribbles, it's time to rehydrate the skin. For body, I'm addicted to Neutrogena's new Body Balm and Guerlain Terracotta Soothing Moisturising Mist (the beautiful balmy fragrance is an ideal substitute for perfume). For face, Estée Lauder's new Hydrationist range is excellent (or use your Crème de La Mer travel pot, particularly if your room is air-conditioned). The only thing left to do: paint one's nails the colour of the sunset (go to www.lenawhite.co.uk for OPI treats) and order that cocktail!