I try and eat healthily and cleanly as much as I can and we cook a lot from scratch, however I do like sugary drinks and crisps and donuts are my downfall. Holland and Barrett asked me to take part in their health and wellness campaign swapping foods for healthy alternatives and I was intrigued. The idea was not to lose weight which I don’t need to do but rather to feel healthier on the inside. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit concerned about what would turn up and be included on the 7 day meal plan created by nutritionist Nichola Witehead.
After looking at all the products and the meal plan I was pleasantly surprised and decided what I was going to do. I used a lot of ideas from the plan and also some of my own. If you follow my blog you will know that my youngest has allergies and a lot of the products were suitable for her so she joined in with some of the meals and snacks.
An example of one of my days on the plan.
I’ve tried to like green tea and I don’t so adding it to my smoothies is a way I can still get the benefits. For spinach haters out there like me, you also can’t taste spinach in a smoothie if you have enough sweet in there. I didn’t believe it either, but try it, I’m not lying!
Cashew nuts and blueberries
Rice cake with cream cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and peppers.
Mid afternoon snack
Frozen banana blended to make ice cream and dark chocolate drops. I discovered this when feeding Ava unable to have dairy or soya this is a real treat.
What I really enjoyed about this challenge was that I felt like I was eating better and not only me, the rest of the family too. It was easier than I thought it was going to be to add in or swap the healthy food items. I really enjoyed the bounce balls, yummy and surprisingly filling. The cashew nuts were also a big hit with the boys too. I usually go for salted nuts and didn’t think I would like them plain, but I did. I’m also not usually a fan of rice cakes, however the marmite flavoured ones with hummus were actually quite nice. The meal plan suggested some oat and blueberry muffins, and also some yummy greek yoghurt pancakes, however the recipes included dairy and egg which Ava can’t have, so I made banana and blueberry pancakes instead using the manuka honey. We already use oat milk in the house as it’s Avas main drink. I tend to prefer almond milk in my cereal and coffee, but the oat milk is great for overnight oats with fresh fruit. We made the swap to using organic coconut oil to cook with a few weeks ago and it makes no difference once you get used to it. I’ve been put off using chia seeds before as I thought they wouldn’t taste nice, however eating them in my smoothies and oats you really can’t taste them. I’m also planning on using the cacao powder to make my vegan chocolate cheesecake this weekend.
There are so many different ways you can swap in the healthy products and I found this week relatively easy. I do actually feel healthier, I think partly psychological as I know I have been eating better. It’s something that I’m going to carry on doing now that I know how simple it is to do.
You can find all the products I used online at Holland and Barrett.
Disclaimer: Holland and Barrett sent me the items pictured above to complete the challenge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.