Sunday, 27 July 2014

Love your tummy with All-Bran #realmumsallbran

Life can be hectic, fast paced and chaotic. As a parent, time is valuable and sometimes in the melee we don't take as good care of ourselves as we should.  Little things like enjoying a healthy breakfast can be forgotten in the hectic morning rush.  Getting enough fibre in your diet or eating your five a day can be overlooked in favour of rushed ready meals or late night take aways. Consequently, our health and our digestive wellbeing can suffer. We can feel gassy or bloated.  In fact 52% of 1000 women surveyed confessed to experiencing digestive complaints at least once a week. Not a recipe for feeling good.

As serotonin is mostly made in the gut, we are restricting the production of our happy hormone when we don't look after our tummies. No wonder so many of us feel below par so often. It's no surprise that we sometimes have unhappy tums.

tummy upset
A sad tummy :(

Kellogg's All-Bran and Britmums have challenged me to try the #RealMumsAllBran 5 day challenge in an effort to get a good feeling in my tummy.  The challenge also encourages us to love our tummies, flaws and all, and embrace the way we look.

All-Bran, Kelloggs, cereals

Once upon a time I had a tummy that looked like this.

teenager, sexy

Nowadays it looks a lot less like this and more like a big blob of over-handled dough.  It's no longer taut or tanned as it was in my teens.  It's pale and's not seen the sun for years!  My days of bikini clad sunbathing on the beach have been replaced with the wearing of sensible one piece cossies and sitting in the shade. The me that was, is no more. Lots has changed over the years

My tummy and I have a longstanding love-hate relationship.  On one hand I have nothing but admiration for my tummy.  It has housed my five growing babies - my first pregnancy was in 1988, my last in 2009.  Forty five months of my life have been dedicated to producing my offspring.  That's almost four years where my tummy has been stretched to capacity, kicked, jabbed and prodded from within.  It's bound to take its toll.

My last pregnancy 'blew' my stomach muscles, which have failed to close up properly. Consequently, even if I'm a little overweight, my stomach just bulges out. It's not a good look, and can evoke questions pertaining to when I'm due.  Mortifying and no good for my confidence.

But it happened because I carried my 9lb 10oz baby to term.  It's a war wound from my last ever pregnancy. A reminder of what it was like to carry my last born son.  So how can I view it negatively?
I just have to suck in my core and keep the pounds off.  I can do that! It was definitely worth it because I have an adorable little boy because of it.

pregnancy, baby, sister
A little Kizzy with my 6 month baby belly!

Every stretch mark, every scar, every mole and every ounce of flesh that overhangs the waistband of my skinny jeans tells a story.  It's the story of motherhood...and I wouldn't have things any other way.  Carrying, birthing and raising my five beautiful children is the greatest and most rewarding achievement of my 45 years!

If ever my vanity threatens to confuse my mindset into dreaming about tummy tucks or liposuction in an attempt to recapture the taut tummy of my teens, I just have to think about my family and smile.
Maybe I'll never be a middle aged super model...but I'm a mum...a real mum...and that's good enough for me.

As for the health of my insides, I have taken the 5 day challenge, enjoying a bowl of new All-Bran every morning for my breakfast.  As a vegetarian, fibre features quite regularly in my diet from pulses, fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and nuts....but I am notorious for failing to eat a good breakfast. This challenge promised to put me on the road to good eating habits.

I remember back in the day when the only type of All-Bran available was the brown sticky kind! Now we get a choice including indulgent Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch and Chocolate Wheats. All-Bran is definitely a product that has come a long, long way over the years, appealing to a wider audience with more demanding and varied tastes, but still gives consumers a high fibre cereal to improve their digestive wellbeing.

The Red Berry Crunch is my favourite of the three varieties.  I enjoy it best, sprinkled over a bowl of soya yogurt or with almond milk.  The clusters are quite big, indulgent and very filling, whilst the dried strawberries add a fruity twist to the cereal.  As the cereals are fortified, I know I am getting Iron and other essential nutrients in addition to the fibre.

After five days, I definitely feel more energised in the morning and am not hungry until mid afternoon.  My body has definitely enjoyed being well fed, and taking five minutes at the start of the day for a yummy breakfast has been quite an uplifting experience.  A bit of me-time, no matter how minor is always therapeutic!

The cereals are sweetened, so depending on your personal taste, you may find that you prefer the traditional 'stick' All-Bran or the flakes.  But having the whole range to pick from gives you choice and variety.  So, whatever type of cereals you enjoy, there is no excuse for not loving your tummy with All-Bran!


You can follow other real mums' stories by looking for the hashtag #RealMumsAllBran on Twitter.

This post is an entry for the Real Mums of All-Bran Linky Challenge, sponsored by Kelloggs.


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