I really enjoy eating healthily and experimenting with what I eat so when Holland and Barrett got in touch asking if I would like to try out a meal plan that a nutritionist created using Holland and Barrett whole foods I leapt at the chance. I was told the plan wasn’t meant to make me lose weight, instead it was supposed to make me ‘feel’ healthier. I was glad about this because I don’t really buy into fad diets or ‘quick fixes’ and I much more interested in having an overall healthy lifestyle. So let me show you how I got on with the meal plan and the things that I created. I won’t write about every single meal as I feel that will be a bit long winded but just the ones that stood out to me in particular.
Breakfast: Overnight oats using oats, oatly milk, linseeds and a drizzle of Manila honey. I have made breakfast like this before but never using oatly milk and linseeds! It was really really delicious,. I normally have porridge for breakfast and this is pretty similar so I really enjoyed it. I topped it with raspberries and it was very yummy.
Mid morning snack: cashew nuts and an apple. This worked well as something to carry me over until my lunch.
Lunch: 4 bran crisp breads with cream cheese and salad. I didn’t really like the crisp breads as much. They were a little hard and I would have preferred some soup instead I think. I can see how this would be a good alternative to sandwich though.
Evening meal: Spaghetti Bolognese using lean steak mine and veg plus courgetti. I love a good Bolognese sauce so this went down really well but I didn’t really enjoy the courgetti as much as I thought I would. I found it to be quite soggy and slimy and I would have preferred to have just chopped it up normally and added it to the mince I think.
Dessert: banana ice cream (blended frozen slices with dark chocolate drops on top). Oh my goodness this was AMAZING! I love banana and dark chocolate and this was so simple to make but felt like I was really treating myself. I will definitely be making this again!
Dessert: Chia seed pudding using Oatly milk, chia seeds, cacao powder and manuka honey – see this recipe. This was so delicious. It was like a rich chocolatey mouse. I will definitely be making this again as it was the perfect dessert. I absolutely love the manuka honey. I normally eat quite a bit of honey but this one is so thick and sweet. I am a firm believer of things like this in a healthy meal plan. If there is a food you love, don’t deprive yourself of it as it will only make you binge on it later. I love chocolate so I let myself have a few squares every evening. This means I don’t feel the need to go mad with it because I know that I am allowed to have it. So finding desserts and sweet things like this is a really good way to keep your sugar cravings under control.
You can see in the photo below just how mousey it is! The chia seeds give it such a good texture.
Mid morning snack: Bounce Ball. I loved this but I think in future I wouldn’t have it as a mid morning snack but instead as a post workout energy boost. It had a gorgeous gooey texture.
Breakfast: Two oat and blueberry muffins (see this recipe). Now these muffins were absolutely delicious. I don’t know how I feel about having them for breakfast – I’m a bit of a porridge/over night oat lover and I prefer to have something like this. I really enjoyed eating these as a snack or as part of my lunch though and I think they make for a great addition to a healthy meal plan. They taste really healthy from the oats but sweet too from the fruit and honey. I love that you don’t use any butter in the recipe and coconut oil instead – this makes them feel really healthy.
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt pancakes. These were delicious and I can’t believe I didn’t take a photo of them (so unlike me!). I normally make the 2 ingredients pancakes so it was nice to try another healthy pancake recipe. Again, using coconut oil to fry them meant they didn’t feel as naughty.
Lunch: Rice cakes and soup. I have always really enjoyed eating rice cakes. I think there is so much you can do to them and contrary to popular believe they really aren’t boring. They make a really good, lightweight snack as part of a healthy meal plan. Check out another post I wrote with some recipe ideas using rice cakes.
I also received a pack of green tea. I am really not a fan of this normally but I thought I would give it a try. I think this one must be not quite as strong as others that I have tasted because I found it much more bearable! I normally get a bit of a headache from it and feel a bit sick but I didn’t get anything like that with this one.
So there are just a few of the meals I ate last week using the Holland and Barrett products. On the whole I really did feel very healthy. Although I personally would have preferred to swap some of the healthy meal plan dishes for another meal, I think that all of the things I was eating I would eat again. I will definitely take some of these things with me into future weeks!