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

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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

CointreauVersial Fri 31-Jan-14 13:17:07

I did a big Sainsburys shop last night, and resolved to try several new/healthy things:
Kale: I have heard it is high in iron, and we all like cabbage, so I shall give it a try.
Asparagus: Lush, dipped into boiled eggs as a low-carb breakfast.
Aubergines: I fancy a big ratatouille, maybe with feta crumbled on top.
Celeriac : Sorry, Stripy, I love this. We have a traditional family dish at Christmas which is creamed celeriac and carrot. Usually I mash it, or make a gratin with it.
Wholewheat noodles: I didn't know these existed until I saw them on the Healthy Foods list, so I'll be road-testing these on the DCs.
Seeded tortilla wraps: To jazz up the DCs' packed lunches
River Cobbler: Tis a fish! One of those non-endangered ones we're supposed to eat lots of, so it was "rebranded" with a fancy name. I also bought some salmon, which is popular with all, which we will have with some jerk seasoning.
Coconut oil: I bit the bullet.....�6! shock I adore coconut, but was nervous about using it for savoury dishes. Having road-tested it on a piece of pan-fried tuna last night, I can confirm it was fine, but I probably wouldn't use it for anything bland or eggy, as I'm sure the coconut flavour would come through.

I also bought my usual shed-load of veg, fruit and some chicken. But unfortunately, when I came to pay, I also had problems using my Nectar card. angry I did register the card AND used it to make a small purchase in-store beforehand (but possibly I needed to do this the day before so it filtered through the systems), but the "computer said no".....anyway, I will no doubt use the points at some stage, just not this week (my fridge is bursting at the seams).

Stripy - your comment about fat - I do remember Sally saying that a certain amount of "good" fat was necessary, and was less of an enemy than sugar, but I'm not sure if she would advocate extra fat if you aren't consuming it currently, just to substitute good for bad. Of course, the low-carbing mantra is to keep up your fat intake, but that's a whole other story!

Kewcumber Fri 31-Jan-14 15:09:48

24 hours between scanning and activating it and it being usable at that store.

How is DD Smoke?

Willemdefoeismine Fri 31-Jan-14 16:25:02

Love kale...:-).....

I'm going to make a lentil bake today...taking me back to student days :-). Not sure if I will use potatoes on it or something else....any ideas....????

We had salmon earlier on this week - DCs love it....Have got some Basa fillets too - normally do them in cheese sauce but I guess that's out........

DD not keen on my crumble made with coconut oil ;-(. She has decided she doesn't like coconut...Story of my life....find something healthy and then one of the troops revolts! Not that my family have particularly unhealthy tastes but sometimes the DCs are very limiting in their culinary tastes.....

aristocat Fri 31-Jan-14 20:03:18

Vegetable recipe - I made this on Wednesday and we loved it smile

Spicy Chicken and Vegetable Ragu.

For the spicy chicken

4 chicken breasts or thighs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lemon, juice only
1 heaped tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil, for griddling

For the vegetable ragu

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 aubergine, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
2 courgettes, chopped
1 red pepper, seeds removed, flesh chopped
1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
pinch sugar
dash balsamic vinegar
sprig fresh oregano, finely chopped leaves only
small handful flatleaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, grated zest only

For the spicy chicken, mix all of the ingredients for the spicy chicken, apart from the olive oil, together in a resealable food bag or non-metallic bowl and shake or mix to ensure the chicken is completely coated in the other ingredients. Transfer to the fridge to marinade for at least three hours or overnight.
When ready to cook the chicken, heat a griddle pan until hot, then remove the chicken from the marinade and rub all over with the olive oil. Place on the griddle and cook for about 15 minutes for breast, 20 minutes for thighs, turning once or twice, or until cooked through.

For the vegetable ragu, heat the olive oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for one minute. Add the aubergine, onion, courgettes and red pepper to the pan and fry for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and golden-brown.
Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, balsamic vinegar and oregano and cook for a further 20 minutes until reduced to a thick, rich consistency.

In a small bowl mix together the parsley and lemon zest then stir this through the vegetables and serve at once with the griddled chicken alongside.

CointreauVersial Fri 31-Jan-14 22:43:54

Aristo, that sounds delicious! I have all those ingredients so might rustle it up at the weekend.

smallinthesmoke Sat 01-Feb-14 15:55:13

Hello everyone, it is nice to hear how you are all getting on. Happily DD1 came out of hospital on Wednesday and is now right as rain, galloping around a playground with DH and DD2 as we speak. Thank you for the nice words. Hospital food is OK but not v inspiring, I had a good pineapple upside down cake and custard in the canteen!

I'm really interested in how you are getting on with the healthy eating. It is a serious challenge for me. I really should sort it out. Bowel cancer runs in my family, so I need to eat some sensible food and less meat etc. It doesn't take Einstein to figure out what I need to do, I just lack the impetus- but hopefully this programme is it! What I want to do is incorporate small changes rather than a massive and unsustainable shift in diet. So I am starting by trying to eat 3 meals and 5 fruit and veg a day. I managed that when I was pg so I ought to be able to pull my finger out and do it again, this time for myself rather than out of care for my unborn DC! I don't think I am going to spend the Nectar points on unusual stuff- coconut butter is getting a big swerve in this household- but rather on some of the more expensive or unusual fruit and vegetables that don't usually find their way into my trolley. Cashew nut butter is also on the list, as well as cutting down on coca cola and trying mineral waters instead. I was meant to cut it out entirely but... oh dear. DD1 had even made me a star chart and everything!

The exercise is certainly helping with my mood as it has been a difficult week but I have got through it OK. I am going to go to Aqua again tomorrow, it was a hoot last week.

Can I ask about videos as I feel I should be uploading some soon, has anyone else managed that yet?

CheeseTMouse Sat 01-Feb-14 16:58:47

To help with 5 a day, I always try and make sure the fruit bowl is stocked up in the kitchen. It means that if one of us is looking for a snack it tends to be fruit. Similarly have cucumber sticks or carrots in the fridge so they are readily available when fridge grazing!

smallinthesmoke Sat 01-Feb-14 17:00:36

That's a good idea CheeseTMouse

Willemdefoeismine Sat 01-Feb-14 17:58:21

Smallinthesmoke good to hear your DD is back at home - I love the idea of the tables turning and your DDs giving you a motivational star-chart!! :-).

DH found coconut oil in a local Asian shop for a fraction (25%) of the cost of the sainsbury's version. However it is solidified and in a bottle so the challenge is how you get it out - presumably some type of heating process to liquify it but without causing the glass to shatter hmm....Yes, I think you are wise to avoid it...I'm not sure that anyone here likes it - the same old story of me ending up having to use everything up....(which is how I put on weight in the first place).

I've finding eating loads more veggies easy but I tend to shy away from a lot of fruit although the odd banana does pass my lips. Now if raspberries were cheap I would be eating those every day. Do have a ripening mango to tuck into soon...

After my month of abstention from alcohol I'm afraid I'm having a glass.... wink.

Did pan-fried basa fillets in a wholemeal bread/sesame seed 'breadcrumb' combo at lunchtime - with a lentil/veggie 'hotpot'...The basa fillets were lovely and thankfully the DCs failed to spot the sesame seeds :-).

I'm a sucker for sticks of celery and radishes (ate loads when pregnant with DD!)....

No, I haven't really got to grips with the video stuff..I've done a few but amateur is an understatement. GRRRRR.....

DinoSnores Sat 01-Feb-14 20:11:40

Non-participant here.

In terms of getting at least 5 a day into me and the rest of the family, I try to make sure that every meal/snack involves some sort of fruit and/or veg, so thinking about today, raspberries in the porridge at breakfast, breadsticks and apple for snack time, cream cheese/tomato/cucumber sandwiches for lunch, broccoli/carrots/sweetcorn with salmon and then banana and yoghurt for pudding, so just trying to always incorporate it.

changedirection Sat 01-Feb-14 21:16:07

Non participants - best tip for 5 a day

Add fruit and / or veg to every meal in some form or other

Veg they enjoy (eg carrot) - large lumps, encourages them to eat the rest
Other veg - grate etc to hide / make into funny shapes

Stripytop Sat 01-Feb-14 21:23:41

Good news Small glad your dd is better.

Willem stand the bottle in a jug of hot water - as hot as your tap gets will be fine. It liquefies really quickly and you can pour out what you need. You can do this endlessly without it spoiling I think. I have used it in the past as a moisturiser and hair conditioner which it brilliant for, and that's how I got it out of the bottle every morning.

Have fallen of the wagon big time today. A trip to the theatre, a botched restaurant booking and terrible weather left us eating chocolate and crisps in the theatre and then tea at a Hungry Horse. And, only 3000 steps on the fitbug too! Back to the Gym and Salad City here tomorrow!

CointreauVersial Sat 01-Feb-14 23:35:27

Stripy, I think I win the sloth competition today; my Fitbug reads a shocking 580 steps so far. blush blush I just fancied a lazy day, to be honest, but I will go for a run first thing tomorrow to compensate.

Tonight I cooked the river cobbler, with a red pepper and tomato coulis. It was lovely, actually, not too "fishy" a fish, nice soft texture, and I seem to remember it was very cheap. The DCs scoffed the wholewheat noodles without noticing the difference - result!

I must must must do a video tomorrow. I am not a natural in front of a camera, and look like a total idiot.

loopsngeorge Sat 01-Feb-14 23:47:25

Glad to hear about your dd Small!
Tonight we have tried kale for the first time courtesy of Nectar - and the verdict was - tasteless!! Don't know if I cooked it too long or something.... Left the coconut oil on the shelf but I did pick up some nut and seed mixes to have as snacks rather than my usual chocolate or jelly babies. And i'm finding they are working as the kind of sweet 'hit' I always seem to want after a meal. I couldn't find any of the nut butters or chia seeds etc so I'll have to look elsewhere for them.
I'm loving the swimming and have just heard they do an aqua zumba class so going to try that out as soon as I can.
I haven't really got to grips with the videos either - that's my job for tomorrow!

stephgr Sun 02-Feb-14 03:06:52

Not a tester, sadly. I don't allow desserts unless all the veg has been eaten. I try to stop boredom by using interesting veg recipes and sometimes I'll chop veg up into tiny pieces so I can "hide" it in a lasagne or something!

MakeTeaNotWar Sun 02-Feb-14 08:25:19

Non-participant: my DCs are 3.5 and 1.5 and luckily, getting their 5-a-day is no problem as not only do they love to snack on fruit (the expensive kind mind you - blueberries, pomegranate seeds, mango) but they love peas and broccoli. I make a very easy pasta sauce by wilting half a bag of spinach then whizzing it up with half a tub of cream cheese. Tastes great, very easy and nutritious

Willemdefoeismine Sun 02-Feb-14 09:53:36

Cointreau...if it's any consolation I did the same number of 'steps' (or lack of them...) - had an 'in' day...I'm very all or nothing, including with the exercise!

The thing is that I do so much walking during the week that at the weekends I'm not inclined to be marching "up hill down dale''....I'm not sure how I will work with this for the Fitbug Week which is looming...

Stripy, thanks for the tip on the coconut oil! I think my hair could do with some :-)

Just made the mistake of putting a scattering of chia in with the raspberry porridge...of course in the process of making it they didn't have time to swell and soften - DD wouldn't eat it!

Stripytop Sun 02-Feb-14 10:25:32

Cointreau I'm with you on the lazy day idea. Sometimes you just need one!

kelzw84 Mon 03-Feb-14 00:27:38

I dont find it to hard.
in the morning the kids always have fresh pure juice, normally orange or apple.
they have a piece of fruit then midmorning snack when in school and at home.
for lunch we normally have something small like a sandwich or a salad. if a sandwich i always include carrot and cucumber sticks. then with tea their is always at least one veg served.

My son when he gets home from school is often hungry and asks for a snack or chocolate so before i allow him have that he has handful of fruit or carrot/cucumber sticks.

kids both like to have super so il add fruit to their cerial or offer them dried raisens or small salad bowl.

for fussier eaters though you can give a glass of fresh pure juice. make a banana milkshake blending well. mix veg in food. make a carrot or beetroot cake and have it with chocolate sponge.

WalkingThePlank Mon 03-Feb-14 09:26:22

Interesting. I avoid fruit juice because of how acidic it is and the impact it has on teeth. My children are really happy with plain water - what a mean mum I am!

Stripytop Mon 03-Feb-14 09:57:56

I agree walking. Fruit juice is a treat in our house too.

I never send fruit into school for lunches or snacks as they never eat it there, they eat plenty at home though, strange that.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Feb-14 10:49:26

Congrats to CheeseTMouse who has won a £50 Nectar card for posting her tips on getting your 5-a-day into family meals.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Feb-14 10:51:30

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?

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) grin

WalkingThePlank Mon 03-Feb-14 11:43:38

I've been using the Fitbug for 2 weeks now. I walk between 6k and 20k per day - seems I'm an all or nothing girl! On the low step days I could cut out some short car journeys but time is precious at the moment.

I have found the Fitbug very frustrating to use. When I upload the data it doesn't do it correctly. I have several days where it has said I've only walked a few hundred steps when the Fitbug unit told me I'd done 10-20k for that day. It's not motivating if it loses your steps. Has anyone else had this problem?

aristocat Mon 03-Feb-14 11:53:35


More steps are easy to add into a routine, without much thought you can

- take the stairs instead of the lift/escalator
- walk everywhere possible instead of driving/catching the bus
- see housework as extra steps grin
- start a daily walk (even better with a friend to chat to)

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