1. Food for Sex
What you eat can affect your sex life, says Lisa Masterson, M.D., an OB/GYN in private practice in Los Angeles. Make sure to eat foods loaded with what she calls the “sex vitamins”—A, C and E, as well as folic acid, a B vitamin—which act as antioxidants and help to release oxygen into body tissues. When the blood is richer in oxygen, it makes all of your chemical processes work more efficiently, including the process that leads to sexual arousal and lubrication. Dr. Masterson’s list of sexy foods? All fruits and vegetables, but especially pomegranates (which contain vitamins A and C), oranges (vitamin C), carrots (vitamins A and C), and dark-green vegetables, like leafy spinach, which are filled with vitamins A and C, folic acid and calcium.
Dr. Masterson notes that some studies have shown that men lacking a vitamin-rich diet may have a lower sperm count than other men. Her advice? Get him to eat his salad, too! After all, his food choices are just as important as yours.
2. Keep that Great Pre-Wedding Body
Sure, you want to look wonderful on your wedding day, but what about ever-after? The American Heart Association (AHA) knows that once you’re married, you might not feel quite so motivated about staying in shape.
To help, the organization is offering a free 12-week fitness and diet plan developed specifically for newlyweds. “The program is perfect for those of you who worked hard to get fit for your wedding day—and want to stay that way!” says Rita Redberg, M.D., a spokesperson for the AHA. The plan includes nutrition tips and advice on staying active.
To register, go to americanheart.org/choosetomove or call 888-MY-HEART.
3. It’s All in Your Head
Are you finding that wedding planning has become, quite literally, a headache? Not surprising, says Sherry Marts, Vice President for Scientific Affairs at the Society for Women’s Health Research. Women suffer from all kinds of headaches, including those related to stress, more frequently than men do. “Stress doesn’t actually cause a headache,” Marts explains. “It may cause a tightening of the muscles in the neck and head, and that’s what causes the pain. You can get into a cycle where your muscles tense up, and then you tense them even more as a defense against the pain—which makes it worse.” These headaches are telling you something about how you are treating yourself, Marts says. So try to identify the thoughts running through your head that are stressing you out. “What winds brides up around weddings is worrying about what other people are expecting,” she says. “Ask yourself, What do I want? What’s important to me? Also, brides are supposed to be happy 24/7, but it isn’t realistic. The next thing you know, your head is killing you.”
Regular exercise relaxes you by keeping you in the present moment, Marts says. “And treat yourself to a weekly massage, if you can,” she says. “If you’re short of time, have a 15-minute head and neck massage—this can really help you take your mind off your to-do list.”
4. A Cold Sore on Your Big Day? No Way!
There you are on your wedding day, looking perfect except for one thing. A cold sore on your lip. Nightmare? Yes, but a preventable one. The herpes simplex virus causes these eruptions, which are clusters of water blisters on your upper or lower lip. Stress is a major trigger, says David Bank, M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, New York. If you are susceptible to outbreaks, Dr. Bank suggests asking your doctor about taking an anticold-sore medication 7 to 10 days before the big day. If you’ve never had a flare-up before but suddenly feel a “stinging sensation” on your lip, you can be treated with a high dose of medication. For a blister that appears right before the wedding, your doctor may also prescribe cortisone. “That combo can act in 12 to 24 hours,” Dr Bank says. “It won’t eradicate the sore, but it will diminish the swelling, and you’ll be able to use makeup to cover it up.”
5. Six Weeks and Counting
It’s crunch time! If you’ve got six weeks, you can tone your body. This set of cute, portable workout cards, developed by Beverly Caen and John Cruz, a fitness expert at Equinox fitness club in New York City, are great to take with you to the gym or to use right at home. Just stick to a routine a few times a week for that time period (we suggest focusing on the exercises for triceps and biceps), and prepare to look fabulous in that strapless gown!