BritMums recently invited bloggers to take part in the Real Mums of All-Bran 5-Day Challenge, a challenge which is all about learning to love your tummy on the inside and out. They sent through a trio of boxes of All Bran and, I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by them. I remember All Bran as a no-frills, good-for-you-but-not-particularly-tasty breakfast option when you're on a health kick, but they've certainly come on a long way since then.
The challenge was to try the cereal for 5 consecutive days and post about any positive results I may see. I started off opening the box of Golden Crunch and was surprised to see that it is made of crispy clusters.
Have a closer look - nothing like the bland All Bran I was expecting. These taste really nice, with milk or even straight from the box.
The Red Berry Crunch is also made up of these crispy clusters and also taste fabulous. (Don't take my word for it - if you head over to my freebie round-up of the week, you can find out how to grab a sample of All Bran Red Berry Crunch.)
I already knew that the All Bran Chocolate Wheats variety was lovely because we reviewed them a few weeks ago. (Click to see what we thought.) They're like mini Shredded Wheat with a chocolate filling and they taste far too good to be healthy !
With three different cereals tasting this good, completing the challenge was no great hardship (in fact, I've been continuing to eat them every morning, despite normally having nothing but a glass of orange juice for breakfast). All Bran say that by completing the challenge, "this could be the end of tummy niggles and the start of a bran-new you". A study of 1,000 UK women found that 52% experience digestive complaints, such as bloating or gas, at least once a week. Eating fibre everyday is a simple remedy for happy tums. 10g of wheat bran fibre per day helps reduce digestive transit time and the All-Bran range contains at least 2.7g wheat bran fibre per serving.
Well, I didn't particularly have any tummy niggles to begin with, but I still enjoyed taking part in the challenge. I love the fact that the cereals are the perfect balance of great taste and health benefits. Eating lots of bran can reportedly help lower cholesterol and it absorbs water and fills you up so it certainly help me avoid the mid-morning munchies.
|Peter Paul Rubens - The Three Graces|
But that was only half of the challenge. This was about embracing your tummy inside AND out. If I ask you to describe your tummy, which words would you use? Chances are, you'll instantly come up with words like wobbly, fat, stretch marks, embarrassing, horrible ... After three kids (and four pregnancies), I know my stomach will never go back to the way it was before. But does it really matter? I had a bit of a revelation on holiday a few years ago. We went to Antalya in Turkey where 90% of the guests at the hotel were Russian and Eastern European. I couldn't help but notice, in a totally non-judgemental way, that many of these ladies were ... let's say Rubenesque. But that wasn't what struck me - I was stunned to see that they were proudly and happily splashing about in the pool in bikinis with their kids with zero complexes despite their wobbly bits. And, as I inwardly swore in the loo trying to struggle out of then back into my sodden one-piece swimsuit, I thought sod it ... if they can do it, why not me? And the next year I bought myself a bikini. Now, I certainly don't have a bikini body, but as I furtively darted into the safety of the pool, I realised that nobody was looking at me at all - they were all too busy either having fun with the kids or trying to cover up their own wobbly bits with strategically placed towels and crossed arms !
Look at it this way. Have you got (or maybe had, in your younger days) a favourite pair of beaten up jeans or shoes that are totally worn out but that you can't bear to part with. They've got holes and scuff marks, they're threadbare and faded, they've seen better days but each one of those stains and scuffs reminds you of an adventure, places you visited, people you've loved and maybe lost ... They're shapeless and past their best but they're also infused with special feel-good memories and you smile every time you look at them. (When I went looking for a picture of a bashed-up shoe, I discovered that Converse even sell a "Well Worn" range now, that have been aged and beaten up on purpose !) Well, why not look at your tummy in the same way? Each one of those strech marks and wobbles was put there by little feet and fists making a bit more space inside your womb and will still be there as a lasting reminder of your pregnancy even when your kids have grown up and flown the nest ! When you have toddlers, you know that, as par for the course, they'll wreck the house for a few years - scribbling on walls and floors, putting sticky handprints on the rugs and ripping bits off the wallpaper ... well, their first home was inside your tummy so it's only normal that they wanted to trash that a bit and leave their mark on it too ! Why not embrace your post-pregnancy wobbles rather than beat yourself up about them ?!
Disclosure : This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs
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