I’m not going to lie. When I was offered the chance to try the 5 day All-Bran challenge for a happier tummy I was sceptical but willing to try.
Could eating a different cereal really make a difference to my gut?
You see, I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with my tummy.
Despite my weight yo-yo-ing at a tremendous rate, both up and down over the years, when I was younger I always had a relatively flat stomach.
Then, when I was 21, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and had surgery to remove the cysts. I can’t remember what the surgery was called but it resulted in a Caesariean type scar across my stomach.
That was the end of my flat stomach.
Even when I lost loads of weight, at my thinnest, I still had a muffin top-see.
Before you think you are seeing things, yes I do have a photo of myself on our fridge. It was originally there to try and stop myself from going into the fridge for naughtiness bit it seems, when I went to take the photo, I had to move a few of Boo’s drawings before I could see it again. So that worked.
Fast forward ten years or so after this bikini moment and this happened.
I no longer have a flat stomach at all and I fear I will never have one again.
I know, I know, many women have children and get their figures back but seriously? I don’t seem to have the chance to exercise like I used to. To the women who manage to get their stomachs flat again, all I can say is, lucky you.
So a quick way of seeing if my stomach would change in five days really appealed to me. All I would have to do is change my breakfast cereal-winner.
My choices were: All-Bran Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch or the new Chocolate Wheats. Yes that’s right. A chocolate cereal that is also good for you.
I know there are some people who can’t stomach (pardon the pun) chocolate in the morning. My hubster is one of them but, for me, it is never too early for chocolate. I wonder if that fact links to my flabby stomach problem?
I tried a bowl of each of the flavours-I was purely trying to choose the flavour I would do my challenge with. All three have added vitamins and the Red Berry Crunch also had folic acid which I once read that every woman of child-bearing age should take a supplement of whether they are trying for a baby or not.
They were delicious. I also, naturally loved the Chocolate Wheats. The Golden Crunch were nice but not my thing but all three were very tasty. Then it occurred to me that the flavour of the cereal didn’t matter as long as it was All Bran so I spiced it up and alternated the flavours each day.
According to a recent survey quoted by Kellogs and All-Bran, 90 to 95 per cent of the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin is made in the gut and a study of 1000 UK women found 52 per cent experience digestive complaints, such as bloating or gas, at least once a week. Eating fibre everyday is a simple remedy for happy tums. Who knew?
I doesn’t matter what size or shape you are. If you feel bloated, you feel awful and even the trustiest little black dress won’t feel as nice.
Due to society’s new-found-fear of carbohydrates, it seems many of us don’t eat enough fibre or the other attractive word for it-roughage. Lovely word that isn’t it? Fibre is an essential nutrient that our bodies need to feel good inside. Unlike others, it’s not digested, but acts as a lubricant to help make sure everything else is. So although it passes through the gut relatively unchanged, it’s the most important ingredient to getting rid of what we don’t need.
So how can we get more fibre into our diets? All-Bran suggests the following ideas to try:
Start your day with a cereal high in natural wheat bran fibre, such as Kellogg’s All-Bran.
Go for brown rice or whole wheat pasta instead of the white varieties – or try a 50:50 mix.
Opt for a handful of nuts or fruit instead of crisps, snack bars or biscuits.
Switch from white bread to wholemeal, seeded or another high-fibre variety.
Make sure you’re eating at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
Add peas, beans or lentils to stews and casseroles.
Add extra vegetables when making meat sauce for lasagne, curries, chilli etc., or why not go veggie and make a meat free version for a change?
Choose wholemeal, oat or rye crackers instead of your usual variety.
So what happened to me?
I must say, despite my scepticism, I did feel less bloated after my first bowl of the All-Bran challenge.
I’m not saying it has started a new love affair with my belly but it is mine, it has happened and I have to live with it. However the feeling of being less bloated, certainly helps in the self-appreciation stakes.
Why not try out the #realmumallbran challenge for yourself? What greater excuse do you need to be able to enjoy chocolate for breakfast.
*This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs. I was sent three boxes of All-Bran cereals for review but all opinions and, unfortunately stomach fat, is my own.