We’ve got such a treat for you guys today, especially for anyone who’s mad about food.
Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy is a leading UK vegetarian chef, recipe book author, and advocate and blogger on all things healthy eating.
We were lucky enough to cross paths with Natasha recently, and asked her if she’d share some of her culinary wisdom, healthy eating tips and wedding food ideas with you guys.
And boy has she given us some gems!
As you know, we’re not ones to encourage crash diets ahead of your wedding and we certainly don’t subscribe to the idea that you need to trim down ahead of your day at all.
But like Natasha, we know it’s important to fuel your body with lots of goodness, especially at a time when you’re feeling stressed, and wanting to look and feel your best.
And when it comes to what you serve on the day itself, while you may not opt for all things meat, gluten, dairy or sugar free (like Natasha did at her own STUNNING wedding to her husband Simon!), it’s always a good idea to serve food that’s fresh, sustainable, and that represents your style and personality, whether’s that’s a family style feast or a food truck banquet.
So, from advice on what to eat for breakfast on your wedding morning to what to serve vegetarians at your reception, plus lots of pictures and info on the amazing food served at her own big day, scroll down to read our chat with the awesome Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy.
Natasha’s countryside wedding, Photo via Honestly Healthy
What are your tips for couples who are trying to eat healthily in the lead up to their weddings?
To be honest I found it really hard to stick to something and looked to see if I could find a programme that incorporated the way I ate and exercise but there was nothing.
I wanted to make sure I was glowing from the inside out on my wedding day and I knew that eating a high protein diet wouldn’t do that for me.
So with my personal trainer I actually created a programme called Green and Lean! It’s a three month healthy eating and exercise plan that you can do at home.
It’s all designed to help you lose weight, tone up, have glowing skin, sleep better, balance your hormones and we have had the most amazing success from it! It worked for me and I felt amazing on my big day!
Gorgeous Natasha on her big day, Photo via Honestly Healthy
What ingredients should brides be including for healthy skin and hair?
Lots of green vegetables, so starting the day with a green smoothie each day with 80% veg and only 20% fruit is a fantastic way to get essential minerals in.
You can get so run down organising a wedding so keeping your immune system strong and fighting off any colds is really important.
Eating good fats like avocado and nuts and seeds are brilliant for the skin and getting it to glow.
Are there certain foods you can eat to help reduce stress or boost energy ahead of a wedding?
Definitely. Stay away from foods that bloat you and cause inflammation in the body.
So foods like wheat, gluten, cows dairy and sugar are big ones to stay away from in the three months leading up to the big day.
Foods that boost energy are things like whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats. They are all slow releasing energy foods and also brown rice is high in magnesium which will help you to get a restful nights sleep.
Natasha and her husband Simon, Photo via Honestly Healthy
What’s your advice for brides and grooms on striking a balance between healthy eating and enjoying fun occasions in the lead up to their wedding?
I only believe in balance and cutting things out of and changing everything about your life is only going to cause you stress.
My philosophy is 70% be healthy and 30% do what you like so that it becomes a way of life.
If you can do a prep night and cook all your food for the week on a Sunday night you will always have healthy food in the fridge and be far less likely to grab the phone and call for a pizza!
The Green and Lean plan is all about balance and teaching you to save time and money and cook from scratch.
What’s the best breakfast you can have on your wedding day?
On my wedding day I really wasn’t that hungry so I had a green smoothie with protein powder just so I knew I was eating something. I am not a big breakfast person anyway so I wasn’t going to get stuck into a big breakfast.
Having an omelette the morning of the wedding is a great balanced way to start the day.
If you do get hungry later on you can have a green smoothie with some protein powder as you don’t want anything thats going to bloat you in your wedding dress!
What did you serve at your wedding?
Dinner was a selection of sharing plates;
- Roast Sweet Potato Salad with Sheep’s Yoghurt Dressing & Fresh Coriander
- Boards of Wild Mushroom Polenta Fresh Tarragon & Truffle oil
- Summer Superfood Salad
- Charred Asparagus, Wild Garlic, Peas, Roasted Radishes, Chia Seeds, Goats Cheese & Lemon Dressing
- Miso Roasted Aubergines with Spring Onions & Sesame
Did you have a cocktail hour, what food and drinks did you plan for that part of the day?
We had coconut mojitos, whole coconuts and Prosecco with rose syrup.
The canapés were a selection of my tomato dhal on buckwheat beelines, quinoa burgers with delicious pesto, nori cups with quails eggs, raw pad Thai.
How did your wedding catering reflect your personal ethos on food?
Hugely! My husband was very kind and let me just get on with the planning!
I worked with a caterer who was a friend of mine and we went back and forward on the menu ideas. A lot we used from my books and a few things we created from scratch.
Tell us about the desserts and the sweet stuff at your wedding?
I did sticky toffee pudding pots with dairy free custard and toffee sauce and my coconut nut oil chocolate cake with cashew icing as a naked wedding cake.
How can couples reduce food waste at their wedding?
Plated food and sharing is much more economical than a buffet as the caterer can know exactly what to feed for each person.
It keeps costs down for the food.
Is it okay to serve an entire vegetarian menu at wedding, or should you cater for meat eaters too?
I didn’t because it was important to me but I think it depends on the guests. I don’t think my guests expected meat at mine.
At the end of the day it’s your big day and you should do what is important to you.
Have you any tips for making vegans, vegetarians or those with food intolerances feel more included and special at your wedding meal?
Whatever you do do not serve a mushroom risotto for a vegetarian or gluten free option – it’s so boring!
It’s worth having a look at some famous vegetarian chefs’ websites and getting some recipe ideas and going to your caterer with them. A lot of the time the vegetarian is the the last thought.
I went to a wedding the other day and they did the most amazing black rice pearl barley marmite risotto. It was so different and delicious!
Go to your catering meeting with tear out recipes or images from Pinterest for inspiration. Food is as much about the look as it is the taste.
How can you work with a caterer to plan a unique wedding menu?
I think if you are into food having some ideas before your meeting is always great.
You want your guests to leave talking about every element of your wedding and the food is a massive part and also one of the most expensive!
I personally think the less fussy, the easier, for large style catering, that is why I did big platters for the middle of the table. Sharing is always a great way to get your guests talking to each other as well.
If you go out for dinner and love a menu or a dish take a photo and take it to your caterer. A good chef will be able to recreate something for you. Just like you create a mood board for the look of the wedding and the dress I did this for my food as well.
There are brilliant photos of food out there and you start to salivate just looking at them so just imagine if you were tasting them!
What are the biggest food trends couples should consider for their wedding menu?
I think sharing and platters is quite trendy at the moment. Middle Eastern food is big now as well and so easy to re-create and absolutely delicious.
Also if you are cooking meat, doing a slow-roasted lamb on a spit with wonderful sharing salads would be a fantastic centrepiece.
Are there certain foods or trends couples should avoid?
I personally think you should do what you love.
It’s your big day and a day you have dreamed of forever and what might be a trend to one person might be what you have always dreamed of. I would personally just create your dream!
How can couples keep food costs down for their wedding, while still serving sustainably sourced food?
Speak to your caterer about sourcing food that is close to your venue. For example if you are serving meat, fish or veg, find a local farmer that you can buy direct from him.
Have you any tips for serving your food in unique and beautiful ways?
My personal preference is very eclectic so nothing matching. A bit like a mad hatters tea party.
I had a country wedding so it fitted very well – beautiful old vintage glass and crockery. For my place names I had carrots and luggage tags for the names which I thought was fun!
Vintage plates and platters always look stunning on a table with flowers. You can always go to a flea market and buy them and then have them in your home for ever after!
So much great advice. You know we love edible decor and those carrot escort cards are so fun! I love how Natasha really incorporated her own ethos on eating into her day, right down to the wedding cake, while still creating a a meal that was delicious and special.
Relieve Pre-Wedding Stress with our Bride’s Guide to Meditation.