Webchat with Tristram Hunt, Labour education shadow, MONDAY 27 April at 12 midday ×

This topic is for feedback on Mumsnet product tests. If you'd like test a product on Mumsnet please mail insight@mumsnet.com.

PruHealth Vitality Experience - month 1 feedback thread with WEEKLY prizes for non participants.....

(401 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-Jan-14 09:58:48

You may recall we have recruited 10 willing volunteers to take part in the Mumsnet PruHealth Vitality Experience - this is running until mid March. This is the feedback thread for the participants to share their feedback with you all.

As PruHealth are so very keen for as many MNers as possible to experience the benefits offered by their Vitality programme each week there will be an incentive (see below for chance to win a £50 Nectar card) offered to non participants to read how the volunteers are getting on and to share your own tips, experiences and opinions. Bookmark this thread and keep an eye out for updates across the next few weeks....

PruHealth say "We believe the more you look after yourself, the healthier you feel. That's why we offer our customers Vitality when they buy our health insurance. Vitality is the world's largest incentive-based wellness programme and can make getting and staying healthy both easier and cheaper, but also reward you for all of your hard work!"

The Vitality Experience kicked off in style at PruHealth HQ in London on Friday 17th January. Here participants were given everything they need for the experience - including a Vitality Healthcheck, advice on healthy eating from a qualified nutritionist and an exercise plan designed by a personal trainer.

Each week participants will be presented with a new Vitality benefit - from earning additional Nectar points when you buy healthy foods at Sainsbury's, taking advantage of discounts at Virgin Active or treating the family to a trip to the cinema! Vitality aims to make healthy living fun, easy and rewarding.

Here's the full schedule of the Vitality Experience:

Week 1 - Get Gyming - Kick start your January resolutions with a free 2-month pass to a Virgin Active gym and £50 to spend on new gym gear at Sweatshop.
Week 2 - 5-a-Day - Get £50 worth of Nectar points to spend on healthy food choices at Sainsbury's.
Week 3 - Step It Up - Get motivated to increase your daily step count with your new FitBug pedometer.
Week 4 - Family Treat - Take the family out on a trip to the cinema with £40 worth of vouchers to either Cineworld or Vue cinemas.
Week 5 - Half-Term & Half-Time - Check in with your personal trainer for a free 1hr session to boost your gym routine.
Week 6 - Discounts Dispensed - Get £25 worth of vouchers to test drive our up to 50% cashback at Lloyds Pharmacy benefit.
Week 7 - Choose Your Reward - Take your pick between discounts to Merlin attractions, National Trust parks or travel with Eurostar, Mark Warner or Mr & Mrs Smith getaways.
Week 8 - Wrap Up - Finish the Vitality Experience with a day of pampering at Champney's spa.

Week 1 - Get Gyming
Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:
How you found the welcome day - what did you enjoy, what worried you, how did you find meeting other MNers? Why did you want to take part? Pick three words to sum up the day.

Please share how you're getting on with the gym: have you been before? What did your family think / say? What did you buy with your Sweatshop voucher? How did you feel the next day? Do you think it's given you the push to start going regularly? How do you fit it into your schedule?

Non Participants - gyms and you - discuss!
Now that we're in the middle of January, how are your resolutions for a fitter 2014? Share your stories and thoughts about gyming and you and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 27th at 9am) NOW CLOSED

Week 2: - is all about healthy food choices (w/c 27-1). PruHealth with Vitality members can earn five times the amount of Nectar points they normally would by buying certain foods. As well they earn 1 Vitality point for each £2 is spent on healthy foods once they have linked their nectar card to their account.

Vitality Experience Participants - please share on this thread: At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card?
~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals? NOW CLOSED
~ Share your best tips for getting the 5-a-day into family meals or share a fruit or veg packed recipe on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card NOW CLOSED

Week 3
The third week is about increasing the number of steps you take every day and finding ways to fit 'steps' around your lifestyle. PruHealth with Vitality members can earn points for the number of steps they take each day. Start earning once you've taken over 7,000 a day - the more steps, the more points.

Vitality Experience Participants: please share on this thread:

~ How are you getting on with your new FitBug pedometer?
~ How many steps are you taking each day? Does this surprise you? Disappoint you?
~ What tips can you share for increasing your steps per day.

Non Participants - what's your best tip for increasing the steps you take each day? Add your comment below to be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card! Share your top tips for making it easy to get more steps into your daily life on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 10th Feb at 9am). NOW CLOSED

Week 4
Family Treat Week
PruHealth say "The very heart of Vitality is focussed on wellness and making healthy choices cheaper, easier and well-rewarding for our members. The weekly cinema ticket incentive is one of our most popular as it gives members the opportunity to treat themselves to a night at the cinema as a reward for their efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle. Small changes, big rewards."

Participants please share what film you are seeing or have seen with your Cineworld/ Vue voucher and what treats you like to enjoy generally with your family. How do you think the treat and reward element of the PruHealth with Vitality plan works?

Non participants...with half term coming up what treats do you have in store for your family? What are your families fav films?
~ Add your comment and you will be entered into a prize draw where one person will win a £50 preloaded Nectar card. Prize draw Monday 17 Feb at 9am. NOW CLOSED

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Jan-14 10:41:26

Big congrats to museumworker who is the first winner of the £50 Nectar card. I will PM you for your details.

The second week is all about healthy food choices. PruHealth with Vitality members can earn five times the amount of Nectar points they normally would by buying certain foods. As well they earn 1 Vitality point for each £2 is spent on healthy foods once they have linked their nectar card to their account.

Vitality Experience Participants - please share on this thread:
At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card?
~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals?
~ Share your best tips for getting the 5-a-day into family meals or share a fruit or veg packed recipe on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £50 pre-loaded Nectar card (prize draw Monday 3rd Feb at 9am)

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 10:54:37

Oops blush as usual I've jumped the gun....ahead of myself!

The key message that I got was up the water intake significantly, reduce the carbs (and if you do eat them go for wholegrain varieties), use grains, seeds, pulses, beans a plenty, cut the diary (replacing with nuts and nut derivative milks) and ditch sugar as much as possible. COCONUT OIL stood out as one of the major revelations dietary-wise for me. Also veggies/fruit should - it seems - constitute at least half of any plateful of food eaten! I am a bit of an all-or-nothing person and was very into such a diet when a student (many moons ago) so none of it really came as a surprise. Good to be reminded though!

I did think that my family might be less than receptive to some of the changes but actually thus far they haven't. The DCs love the wholegrain rice and pasta.....DD loves fruity porridge anyway (and I've always been one for sneaking in extra sesame seeds for good measure) so it's not hard for us to embrace oats as our best friend (necessary for me with my higher than it should be cholesterol level). More fish has certainly gone into the supermarket trolly. Coconut oil has (although I did nearly have a fit at the cost of it...not exactly cheap) and lots of nuts/seeds etc....I do think though that I'm going on a much more cost-effective shop to one of the local Asian supermarkets where I will be able to buy nuts/grains/pulses significantly cheaper!

I've already spent my Nectar points (see yesterday's comments) and was shocked that really the £50 didn't go far at all. And I'd already done a Waitrose shop (to get the free bottle of bubbly ready for when I give up my dryathalon! Probably on Valentine's Day!) earlier in the day too....Anyway I have a freezer stuffed with fish, veggies and frozen fruits....

I am missing my carbs though....A bowl of cheesy mash or a baked potato with cheese/coleslaw is my idea of food nirvana at this time of the year...... I personally feel that I could more easily adapt if it was summer or I lived in a warmer climate.... Persevering though!

Willemdefoeismine Mon 27-Jan-14 10:57:05

Apologies: realise I've written diary rather than dairy..... that must be Freudian!

Glitterfairys Mon 27-Jan-14 11:18:17

My top tip for getting 5 a day into my family is to start the morning with a smoothie . I blend all different types of fruit with some milk and that's breakfast sorted.I give my boys slices of pepper or carrots for a snack in the afternoon if there a bit hungry and my youngest also loves bananas and custard for an occasional pudding too . With salad or vegetables with dinner it soon adds up to more than 5 a day smile

HellonHeels Mon 27-Jan-14 11:41:00

What's the rationale for cutting out dairy? TBH I'm not keen on ideas of just cutting out a food group altogether so would like to hear more about this.

CMOTDibbler Mon 27-Jan-14 12:20:37

In order to make sure we always get at least 5 a day my secret weapon is frozen mixed fruit and veg (not all together obv) as they fill in the times that the fridge is a bit lacking. The fruit thaws v quickly in the microwave or just in hot custard/porridge.

CointreauVersial Mon 27-Jan-14 13:36:15

I'll come back later to talk diets, but the big news from me is that my FitBug finally made it out of the box!! Not a huge success, as it almost immediately seized up, showing "8888" with a completely frozen display, and I had to take out the battery and replace it.

So, despite my busy morning and walk into town at lunchtime, it is displaying precisely 29 steps. angry I shall consider today a "test" day.

cather Mon 27-Jan-14 13:53:05

My top tip to get children to eat fruit and vegetables is to get them to help prepare meals, my children always eat their food better if they have helped make it and I find if we are peeling carrots a lot of the slices of carrot find their way into their mouths!

Stripytop Mon 27-Jan-14 14:02:53

Well I've just spent 3 hours at the gym. Nearly didn't go after my ropey experience last week, but so glad I did. Had a gym induction with the lovely John who was very professional and really knew his stuff.

He's done me a very manageable gym programme with the aim of running 10k by the summer. Instead of scoffing at my complete inability to do sit ups, he explained why (2 c-sections) and showed me alternative exercises to do instead. He also told me I had hypermobile ankles in a way that made it sound like an achievement!

I then had a swim, a steam, a lovely shower and did my hair! No way can I do this every time I have a day off unless I get a cleaner and start sending my ironing out, but I did enjoy it.

Audreyblue Mon 27-Jan-14 16:39:22

Participant here.

I had a day off today, so I had my gym induction this morning (and boy was it tough!). I was really put through my paces and shown a number of exercises, including cardio, weights, power plates and floor work. It was heavy going but I could really feel my muscles working and I have to admit I am really aching all over! At least I know it is working.

After this I managed to get to a Sweatshop (which was a 10 mile drive away) and managed to purchase a long-sleeved top and running tights/leggings. Only two items even though they were in the sale but they seem of really good quality. So now I have no excuses!

Now - onto the diet and healthy eating side of things. I have definitely reduced my intake of fizzy diet drinks and opted for water and lots of it. Sally's comment about what fizzy drinks does to your bones was quite an eye-opener. Apart from needing to pee a lot more often, I feel a lot better for it! I have also been taking lots of fruit to work to eat at my desk instead of munching on biscuits. If you chop up lots of fruit in a little container it really encourages you to snack on it. I've been eating pears, apples, satusmas, melon, grapes, strawberries and persimmons. All extremely delicious and healthy (but a bit pricey at this time of year).

I am planning on spending my Nectar points later this week on more fruit and veg and some fresh fish and chicken. My kids are okay with fruit but it's a bit more difficult with veg. May be a bit sneaky and try blending it and disguising it in a soup. I also find getting children to help preparing meals does help. They love making salads and do particularly like carrots and cucumbers. My diet is definitely changing and I'm feeling better for it.

smallinthesmoke Mon 27-Jan-14 17:48:33

Hellonheels
IIRC the nutritionist's advice was to cut down on dairy not cut it out. She talked about green veg as an an alternative source of calcium.

SaltySeaBird Mon 27-Jan-14 18:46:54

Non Participants - what's your best tip for including your 5-a-day in family meals?

Add fruit to cereal in the morning is a good one, with a small glass of orange juice (fresh, not from concentrate) that is 2 portions ticked off.

A portion of fruit with lunch add another.

For dinner it would be unusual for it to not incorporate at least two portions of fruit and veg. Stir frys are a favourite as they are packed full with different veg.

HellonHeels Mon 27-Jan-14 20:34:50

Thanks Small More green veg is obviously a good idea but what's the reason to cut down on dairy?

Kewcumber Mon 27-Jan-14 20:52:55

Yes nutritionist definitely said try to cut down on refined wheat dairy and sugar not cut out.

Wheat and dairy from what I remember was that both are hard to digest - I know this is true of milk which is why so much dairy stuff tends to be semi-digested (kinda) wth bacteria ie yoghurt and cheese. I've looked into the dairy thing before. Most animals lose the enzyme needed to digest milk once their young are weaned but Western humans have evolved to retain some of it (though not in the same quantity) and also treat dairy in many cases to make it easier to digest. Come cultures have not evolved in this way and are predominantly intolerant to dairy as adults.

The argument behind reducing refined wheat was really down to a combination of high GI for much wheat that we eat as its bred to be starchy and then refined and is very very prevalent in our diet. She gave the example of a typical day for many people being cereal or toast, sandwich for lunch then pasta for dinner. She suggested switching to non-wheat low GI alternatives at least occasionally.

Sugar was really to impact on insulin and even though fruit sugars were still sugar, they still took longer to breakdown by the body so stuff being sweetend by fruit was better on the whole than refined sugar or use molasses etc which at least had some minerals left in it.

She said that nutrition should actually be more about what you add in (more nuts, more seeds, more veg, more fruit) than what you take out and that you should aim for very small changes that you turn into a habit.

I certainly haven't cut out either dairy or wheat but I am more conscious or having a broader spread of food and not relying so much on the dreaded pasta and bread!

Kewcumber Mon 27-Jan-14 20:53:45

ALso I think she said nuts and seeds were a good alternative source of calcium.

sharond101 Mon 27-Jan-14 21:49:54

Non-participant. My strategy is variety in choice and method of cooking. DH is a horror for eating vegetables but if i cook them a bit different (eg tonight he had carrots roasted in honey and last night stir fried courgettes in soy sauce) as opposed to the normal steaming, there is a better chance of success. So for instance today in his lunchbox he had a small apple, 2 satsumas, homemade soup (carrot, leek and lentil) a banana and some dried figs. At dinner he had the carrots. Tomorrow he will have sandwiches with lettuce and meat on, apple, satsumas, banana and raisins. Dinner will have stir fried veg. DS is a bit more of a problem, he is 20mo and refuses all recogniseable fruit and vegetables except dried fruit. I thus add pureed fruit to his weetabix and custard and give him a mashed meal in the evening incorporating lots of vegetables.

sharond101 Mon 27-Jan-14 21:51:12

Vegetable packed recipe,

Vegetable Strudel

I chopped/sliced 1.5 red
peppers, 1 red onion, 1/2 leek, bag of brussell sprouts (I
steamed these for 5 minutes after taking outer shells and
bottoms off and halving). Put all in baking tray with 1tbsp
olive oil and roast for 25minutes at 200deg. Meanwhile make
a tomato sauce by simmering a small finely chopped onion in
5 tbsp water until soft then add 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1 tin
drained cannellini beans, 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsps
worcester sauce and 2 tsp red pesto. Mix veg into the sauce
and leave to cool.
Set out your filo pastry onto parchment paper so you have
two sheets lying ontop of each other and to the side another
two sheets slightly overlapping. Add filling mixture in a row
about 2inches from the top of the pastry leaving an inch gap
at either side. Carefully fold the pastry over the filling and roll
up like a swiss roll. Roll into the shape of a spiral by bringing
one end in approxiately2.5inches and continuing to roll it
round. Brush with a mix of oil (I used the oil that settles
ontop of the red pesto) and melted butter. Sprinkle with
1tbsp sesame seeds and bake at 200degrees for around

WalkingThePlank Mon 27-Jan-14 23:34:07

Can someone point me towards the list of healthy food - have spent too long looking for it and want to go to bed. Shopping straight after the gym tomorrow.

WalkingThePlank Mon 27-Jan-14 23:37:01

I think I've found it now blush

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 07:22:00

Sorry when I said 'cut' I didn't mean 'cut out' I meant 'cut down' - however for me personally, with a higher than expected cholesterol leve, l I think there possibly is more of an onus on replacing dairy with alternatives most of the time!

Mackerel pate made with (Greek) 0% yoghurt was lovely - with a bit of lemon juice and pepper - more than a flavoursome topping for the pumpkin seeded Ryvita!

I'm certainly enjoying having lots more veggies and a small salad at lunchtime....I'm not entirely sure I'm feeling better for this or for giving up alcohol in January or both....

I did a mighty 20,000 steps yesterday but as I said that helps to compensate for the odd slothful day of leisure....

Feeling a bit stiff after the gym but I don't think I was worked hard enough wink

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 07:45:25

I think this is the mantra (in a nutshell) we should all be working towards:

http://www.womanandhome.com/galleries/diet-and-health/35902/9/0/the-honey-diet

Bagtrainlady Tue 28-Jan-14 08:08:52

I did my healthy food shop at the weekend it did come to about £20 more than our regular weekly shop but I also didn't skimp on things as I knew I had my voucher to cushion the blow iyswim. The coconut oil was a massive dent in that & I'm sure that I will be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.
What I took from the health talk was that cutting down on less healthy options & trying to eat things which have more complex structures to digest as it will give you more nutrients & feel fuller for longer.
I now have a bag of dried fruit, seeds & nuts at my desk to snack on. I don't do hot drinks so am not too bad about water intake. Where I am struggling is on my attempts to eat within an hour of waking. Still it takes a month to build a habit!
What has made the biggest difference to us is buying a slow cooker. A hot healthy meal waiting when you get in rather than resorting to quick processed meals has been a revolution for us.

Kewcumber Tue 28-Jan-14 09:45:35

At the welcome day you had a presentation from Sally Nash, the nutritionist with EnergiseYou -
~ What would you say was the key message you took away from her presentation and what did you learn?
Nutrition is as much about what you add into your diet (vitamins, minerals, fibre etc) as what you take out. Make small changes and build a new habit. Most families have an average of 8 recipes which they repeat.

~ What healthy foods have found their way into your trolley since then and what are you planning to buy this week with your Nectar card? I've bought coconut oil, mixed seeds which I've used in porridge and yoghurt. I've bought more fresh food and cooked from scratch more and have bought but not yet used almond milk.

I plan to buy some nice chicken to make our own nuggets! More fish, spelt pasta, I've going to stock up on frozen veg which is useful for hidden veg when you're in a hurry. I find frozen carrot and swede mash can be thrown into almost anything without being noticed, frozen chopped onions are great when there's only two of you and you're trying to thrown something together quickly and don't need a while onion.

~ How's the rest of the programme going - we'd love to hear what you've done!

I'm off for gym induction on Thursday and I'm going to try to make time to go to at least one acqua class before that.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 28-Jan-14 10:31:52

I'm wilting after gyming it and have already done 10,000 steps this morning. Feeling on a bit of an endomorphin high.... smile...Now to work....

GwenStacy Tue 28-Jan-14 10:47:36

Eek, a grumpy baby and a weekend away means I never got round to posting about my gym visit! I'm on the bus sans baby so have time to update!

First off - wow! It's beyond gorgeous. Last week was my first trip away from my daughter so I decided to go for a swim rather than try and figure out the gym equipment whilst I was stressing about how she was getting on…

As I said, the gym is gorgeous, and the staff were all so friendly. Free towels and Molton Brown toiletries make packing to go so easy as well and means I don't have to wash chloriney towels and get them dry for my next visit.

I'd forgotten quite how much I love swimming - after a couple of lengths I was into a rhythm and able to switch off and just concentrate on the feeling of the water and how my body felt while I was swimming. My daughter is 10 weeks old and whilst I love her dearly, having the time alone with nothing to do but swim was glorious! I felt really good for having done some physical exercise, but I think the mental benefits outweighed any physical ones smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now