It surprised me to discover that 90-95% of the happy hormone serotonin is made in the gut – did you know that? Which is obviously why bloating due to not eating enough fibre can make us miserable!
I was recently invited by BritMums to take part in their #RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge – to see if eating All-Bran for 5 consecutive days made any improvement to my general digestive well-being and the way I felt. The challenge also encompasses learning to love the way our tummies look as well as how they feel.
Over recent years, I’ve fallen out with my tummy, big time. Before I met hubby, I used to be a slim size 8 (I can’t believe it either!) – then we got comfortable & happy, and I piled the weight on, continuing to do so at Uni and eventually reaching a size 20. I really hated my tummy and the way it looked. Also because we ate a lot of junk, it didn’t feel so good either if I’m honest, usually pretty bloated & gassy.
After we got married we decided we wanted to try for children and enough was enough, I was going to lose weight. I started eating healthier & exercising, and slowly but surely lost 3.5 stone. Though we had to then have fertility treatment, I was lucky enough to fall pregnant and I gave birth to our first little man in March 2012.
Pre-babies, I had gained a few stretchmarks due to gaining weight so quickly and then losing it again. I absolutely hated them and instead of wearing a bikini like I had done in my teenage years, I’d wear a costume or a tankini to cover my tummy up. During pregnancy however, I gained a few more stretchmarks. I will admit that I was disappointed at first, but then I realised – I’m growing this little person, this amazing little miracle, and I’m earning these extra stripes!
When I was pregnant for the second time, my stretchmarks were emphasised even more, though I didn’t gain too many new ones. I’ve come to realise that they will always be there, so I may as well embrace them, you know?
To take part in the challenge I was sent a box of each of these flavours – Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch, and Chocolate Wheats. All three cereals are high fibre and contain folic acid.
The first one I was drawn to was the chocolate wheats – I know chocolate cereal usually isn’t anything to write home about but I can never resist anything with the word chocolate in it… This was as it says really, chocolate flavour wheat pillows, but with chocolate chips in them too. As you can see from the Day 1 photo, you don’t get a lot from the recommended portion size, but it’s enough. Though the pillows were chocolate flavour, I only really got the flavour from the chocolate chips. I was disappointed the milk didn’t turn chocolaty too! The second one I tried (on Day 2) was the red berry crunch. These are little crunchy cereal clusters with red berries in – self explanatory really. They also turned the milk pink! I quite liked these – though I only had these for one day out of the five, I think these were my favourite. The final one to try was the golden crunch. These are very similar to the red berry crunch, except that they have little caramel balls rather than berries. There wasn’t anything I really disliked about these, but they were my least favourite.
I completely forgot to take any photos of my belly before & after, with regards to bloating (whoops). What I did notice though is that I felt less bloated eating these, than with the usual breakfast I have (normally between breakfast biscuits and cornflakes). Having two small children, I am constantly on the go so pretty much always tired – I didn’t notice too much of a difference in my tiredness levels, but I did feel less lethargic. I also noticed that my digestion seemed to improve in just the short five days of this challenge – though I have continued to eat them after the challenge due to the fact that they made me feel better.
Throughout this challenge I have grown to love my tummy even more. It feels better and hopefully will continue to do so. It may never look like I want it to again, but there has been purpose to why it looks like it does and that is a part of me, a real Mum.
This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs.