Juggling weddings and hen parties around a healthy lifestyle can be hard sometimes. Not all of my friends are that interested in health and fitness and it's definitely not their main concern at a hen party. If I'm totally honest the thought of spending a weekend with a group of girls that I don't know fills me with dread even without the healthy element thrown in. It's silly to feel like this because I always have such an incredible time when I get there. I think growing up at an all girl's school and spending most of my time at dance school has developed an irrational (or perhaps totally rational) fear of all girl group situations. With a lot of weddings on the horizon the weekends beforehand are full of being thrown in a house with a group of girls you might not know, here's a few of my survival tips for a healthy hen.
Before I start I have to say, hen parties are meant to be fun. I don't follow or promote diets which are really restrictive so similarly I don't promote "cheat" meals or "cheat" weekends. Let your hair down have a few drinks but don't punish yourself in the gym the following week. Spending time with your friends and eating food you wouldn't normally eat for a weekend will have a very low impact on achieving your goals and stressing about it definitely won't have a positive impact.
Now that's out of the way on to some healthy advice:
1. Take your food essentials - if you like to wake up in a morning at home and you usually have a specific breakfast then take it with you. I'm particular about what kind of bread I eat and I know that the morning after a night filled with prosecco I will definitely want a couple of slices of toast so I take it with me. Don't feel embarrassed by it. Take enough for everyone and no-one will even notice. It's much better to fuel your day's activities with a good breakfast rather than to skip breakfast or to feel bloated by eating something you aren't used to.
2. Pack your trainers - a weekend at a hen do could take place anywhere in the country which means an opportunity to explore somewhere new. I always pop my trainers in my bag and some running kit and sneak out before everyone wakes up so you don't affect the plan for the day (there's always a schedule at these kind of things but then again you're almost always running late before you've left the house waiting for 20 girls to style their hair). However, getting active is a great way to start the day so that if you are planning to eat or drink lots later or you know you'll be sitting down lots during the day then an early workout means you're already one step ahead and you'll go into the day feeling much more energised. It's amazing how easily a sweaty workout gets rid of a hangover.
3. Drink smart - when I last went out drinking with the girls in Sheffield they drank Prosecco all night! I'm not sure if I'm getting old but I can't do that. Similarly a night on white wine now gives me a really bad head. Instead I opt for clear spirits and mixers. If you know me you know I love gin and mixing that with slim-line tonic is one of the least gassy and low calorie (if you count them) drinks. If you're drinking at home before going out you could also mix your spirits with a good quality orange or cranberry juice. Find out what works for you and stick with it. I know that I like Jose Carrera tequila with slices of fresh orange but that Sambuca makes me sick.
4. Food on the go - hen dos these days are no longer one night out. Instead they are a weekend affair involving lots of day time activities. Treat these days just as you would any other day and pack healthy snacks. Meal times are likely to be fixed into a schedule so by taking a few snacks with you then it will mean you can ace Go Ape, perfect your life art drawing, pole dance, impress with your cocktail making skills or spend an afternoon at Blackpool pleasure beach without getting hangry. I recommend KIND bars (see my thoughts on them here) for a perfect on the go snack. Tribe bars are great too or take a snack pack of cashew nuts.
I'd love to hear your thoughts if you try any of these ideas or, please feel free to share your own tips in the comments below.