Paleo Donuts: a sweet (semi-guilt free) indulgence that can even fit into your wedding diet!
Personally, I think what makes brides and grooms beautiful on their wedding day is the happiness and love that they exude. I think the biggest thing that people notice both in person and in pictures is the smiles and the passion that you see from the couple, which makes the day so memorable.
With that being said, there are plenty of couples who want to both look and feel their best on their wedding day so they seek out some sort of diet/exercise plan to do a little #sweatingforthewedding. I was personally one of those brides who was determined to look my best on my wedding day, knowing that I was my own harshest critic and I didn't want to look back on my pictures and regret not trying a little harder to get in the best shape possible. As far as wedding diets go, there are all sorts of things that couples try together. Check out Shape.com's article "Brides Reveal Their Best Weight-Loss Secrets" (https://bit.ly/2tBYZTM) to get a few ideas if you're curious about what some of the trends are. There are also really helpful tools out there like the "Wedding Diet+Workout" tool on theknot.com's website (https://bit.ly/2KnB7xm) which can help get you started. The problem that Kyle and I found with any of the diet options we looked at, was that a lot of them involved eating less, or exercising in ways that we didn't think would be fun (although at that point, I'm not sure the words "exercise" and "fun" would have ever gone in the same sentence for us). So I turned to one of my good friends Kelsey for advice. She had done some sort of diet plan before her wedding and looked absolutely beautiful, and healthy, and I just had to know what she did! She told me the rule of her diet and it was so basic it seemed like something I should have been doing all along. The rule is simple:
If you can't grow it or kill it, don't eat it.
Wow, that seemed like an obvious, and healthy rule to live by. Don't get me wrong, it definitely took some getting used to at first (and required a bit more planning before grocery shopping trips). It basically means that when you pick up a piece of food you have to ask yourself, "is it an animal or a plant, or did it come directly from an animal or plant with no other junk added in?" if the answer is no, then that means you shouldn't eat it. Following this diet does not mean that you can eat potato chips all day long, because potatoes chips come from potatoes (trust me, I tried to stretch the rules on that one), or that you can indulge in chocolate cake every day because chocolate comes from a cacao tree. It means exactly what it says, and the goal is to eat foods in their natural form, which leaves you feeling more healthy and energized and in some cases may even lose a bit of weight (if that's your goal). Honestly, the part that I liked the best was that I didn't have to count calories or feel limited in the amount of food I could eat, I was simply choosing healthier foods. But let's be real, trying a completely new way of eating in the months leading up to the wedding can lead to couples being #hangry which is the last thing you want piled on top of the stress of getting everything ready for the big day, while trying to also enjoy this beautiful time with your fiance. One thing that can help is if you can try to turn a new diet into a bonding experience between the two of you as a couple by trying new recipes together and spending quality time in the kitchen. But to avoid the "hangry" situation I also think it is important every once and a while to let yourself indulge, or find little ways to treat yourself here and there that may not fit exactly into the diet, but that is okay!
I should point out that I am not a dietitian, or nutritional specialist of any sort, so the goal of this post is not to encourage people to try what I tried (and I'd be lying if I said that I've stuck to this diet completely after our wedding over a year ago). The purpose of my post is actually to share one of the ways that I liked to indulge a bit, while staying within the guidelines of my "wedding diet." This diet most closely aligns with a "Paleo" diet, although it is not exactly the same. So when picking recipes, I tried to find ones that were labelled as Paleo as a good place to start.
You're probably wondering, if this post is all about healthy eating, then how could it possibly be about donuts too. Well, the problem with this diet was that Kyle and I both have a ridiculous sweet tooth (sweet teeth?), so dieting for our wedding was a major challenge and we were constantly craving something sugary and delicious. Prior to this whole healthy eating scenario, we loved to go to Five Daughters Bakery in 12 South, Nashville, on the weekends for a delicious 100 layer donut (cronut) or two. However, that clearly didn't fit in the diet plan...until we discovered that they make paleo donuts as well! Basically, paleo donuts substitute regular flour for things like almond flour and coconut flour, and use coconut oil/coconut butter instead of traditional oils or butters. It doesn't necessarily cut calories, but it does make the donuts a bit lighter and definitely more natural. So while I know that donuts don't grow on trees (or bushes, or plants), we decided we could make an exception, since all of the ingredients are natural. Boy are we glad we did because these delicious donuts are decadent! I highly recommend checking out Five Daughters (http://www.fivedaughtersbakery.com/) at one of their 3 Nashville locations, or their Georgia or Florida locations. You can also get Five Daughters baked goods at any Barista Parlor in Nashville (which just so happens to be my favorite coffee shop as well). I also recommend trying the vegan chocolate donuts from Vegan Vee (http://www.veganvee.com/) in Nashville. They are dense, and moist and delicious and also fit loosely into this diet plan.
But if you don't live nearby to one of these delicious bakeries, but still want to make yourself a tasty treat there are plenty of great options! Making your own paleo treats at home is a great way to ensure that all of the ingredients going into them are natural. Personally, I love this recipe for "Baked Lemon Donuts with Blackberry Glaze (Gluten Free, Paleo)" from Downshiftology (https://bit.ly/2tELW3X), but if you're looking for a different flavor, then check out one of the many recipes on Paleo Grub's list of "35 Best Recipes for Paleo Donuts" (http://paleogrubs.com/donut-recipes).
Alright, at this point in this blog post, now I'm just hungry for some donuts, so I apologize for sharing my sweet tooth cravings with you. So I will leave you with one last idea: if you're looking for a non-traditional cake alternative at your wedding, try serving donuts, like this donut cake by @sweetdesignsbyclaire (https://bit.ly/2tuyQHj). *Disclaimer, the donuts pictured are not paleo donuts (but I would definitely still eat it anyway).
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