Holland and Barrett Health and Wellbeing Challenge – Update

Last week, I wrote a post about how I had decided to take up Holland and Barrett’s Health and Wellbeing Challenge, which features a 7-day meal plan packed full of whole food products from Holland and Barrett to make you feel good, designed by nutritionist Nichola Whitehead. Click here to see the meal plan that I followed.

Holland and Barratt Whole Foods
Products

The meal plan included the following Holland and Barrett products:

Holland & Barrett Curly Cashews 500g – £9.65
Holland & Barrett Golden Linseed 500g – £5.59
Neal’s Yard Whole Foods 100% Organic Jumbo Oats 1kg – £2.65
Eat Real Quinoa Chips Sour Cream and Chives 30g – £0.85
Bioglan Raw Organic Cacao Powder 100g – £7.99
Redwood Wot No Dairy? Plain dessert 125g – £0.85
Kallo Savoury Rice Cakes 110g – £1.75
Oatly Enriched Oat Drink 1L – £1.75
Naked Cashew Cookie Bar 35g – £0.99
Bounce Energy Ball Coconut & Macadamia Protein Bliss 40g – £1.99
Bear Strawberry Yo-yo 20g – £0.75
Bioglan Superfoods Organic Coconut Oil 400ml – £15.99
Comvita UMF 5+ Manuka Honey 500g – £21.99
Beyond Dark Dark Chocolate Drops 35g – £0.99
GG Scandinavian Bran Crispbread 100g – £1.59
Double Dragon Organic Green Tea – 25 teabags – £2.35
Chia Bia 100 Natural Whole Chia Seeds 400g – £13.69
Cherry Active Ltd Beetactive Concentrate 210ml – £5.99

Meals

I ate these products either incorporated into healthy meals or as snacks in the morning or afternoon. Here are some of my favourite meals from the past week:

 

 

Bolognese in pan

Spaghetti bolognese

 

Porridge oats, banana and cinnamon

Overnight oats

 

Scrambled egg and tomato on toast

Scrambled egg on toast with tomatoes fried in coconut oil

 

Kallo rice cakes with cream cheese

Kallo rice cakes with cream cheese and pear\

Pros
I followed the plan throughout last week and I definitely feel better than usual. Here are the improvements I’ve noticed:

– More energy – I haven’t been getting my usual 4pm energy slump!

– Better concentration – more focused on what I need to do and less likely to be distracted

– Improved sleep pattern – easier to fall asleep and easier to get out of bed in the mornings

– Healthier hair, skin and nails – my hair feels glossy and thick, while my skin is blemish-free and not as oily as usual and my nails seem less brittle

– Elevated mood: I felt much happier in general than I normally do – some days I felt like I was on cloud 9!

– Weight loss of 4lbs (the challenge wasn’t designed with weight loss in mind, but by eating healthier foods I naturally lost weight, much to my delight!)

– No hunger pangs (the meal plan allows for a breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and dessert every day – that’s way more than what I’m used to eating!)

Cons
However, following a whole foods diet plan does have it’s negative points, too. For example:

– Some whole food products can be fairly expensive to buy, like the manuka honey (£22) and coconut oil (£16)
– There is a fair bit of food preparation involved and I had to devote more time to cooking, which wasn’t always convenient. I recommend investing in some meal prep containers before taking on a challenge like this, you you can prepare in advance.
– Choice is limited when it comes to dining out
– Sometimes you just want an extra large pizza with stuffed crust and fries on the side…

On the whole, I enjoyed following Holland and Barrett’s Health and Wellbeing Challenge and I felt better in myself for it. I’ll definitely be continuing to replace some of the food and drinks I would normally consume with whole food products. For example, I found it easy to switch coffee for for green tea, the Kallo rice cakes make for a tasty, low-cal snack in place of a packet of crisps and the coconut oil was perfect for frying (it also has a number of other uses, but I’ll save that for another blog post!)

Do you eat whole foods? What are your favourite ones? Leave me a comment in the box below.

Holland and Barrett sent me a range of complimentary products to use in following their Health and Wellbeing Challenge. However, I was not obliged to write a positive review.

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18 Comments

  1. March 6, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Well done doing this challenge it sounded easy to incorporate but I agree that some health foods can be expensive. But the good thing about some of the healthier food options is that they make you feel fuller.

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:36 pm

      You’re right, I was really surprised by how full I felt after eating some of these foods, especially the rice cakes.

  2. March 6, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    I have been looking forward to seeing how you got on after reading your post last week. I don’t think I could go a week on this though for the cost alone, but might look into this as it may be of benefit to my daughter. Will be interested in your coconut oil post. I see a lot about it but not too sure about what to use it with.

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:32 pm

      I’ll be doing my post soon hopefully.. been busy lately 🙂

  3. emma white
    March 6, 2016 / 10:45 pm

    oh wow amazing I didn’t realise they sold all this goodness I must have a look

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:32 pm

      I was pretty impressed by their product range 🙂 Never really been in the shop before.

  4. March 7, 2016 / 12:49 am

    What some delicious looking meals, I have to admit I do love rice cakes as well and I so haven’t had them for ages!

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      I really liked the rice cakes 🙂 Keep meaning to buy some sweet ones.

  5. March 7, 2016 / 10:23 am

    Well done to sticking it to all week you did so well. I do things like swapping my normal milk for soya milk (the alpro chocolate one is amazing!) I only ever drink mint or green tea so that’s fine. But there’s so much you can do to just make things a bit healthier x

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:31 pm

      Definitely; I don’t think I could eat as healthy as this all the time, but there’s certainly little ways that you can make a difference 🙂

  6. March 7, 2016 / 1:47 pm

    Those meals look lovely. sounds like a great challenge and ideal loosing weight too well done

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Thanks! Some of the meals were a lot tastier than I thought they would be.

  7. March 7, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    It could really be expensive but I like how you bravel accepted this challenge!

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:41 pm

      Thank you! It was daunting at first, but I actually quite enjoyed it.

  8. March 7, 2016 / 9:52 pm

    I need this at the moment. Need to get healthy and lose a bit of weight but keep eating too make cakes

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Oh, I know that feeling too. I need to start eating healthy like this again!

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