Just before Christmas I took part in the Hovis Wholemeal Challenge.
I agreed to give it a go because I’m actually a bit of a glutton and have never been known to refuse the offer of any kind of food.
But, I wish I’d known a little a bit more about what the challenge would entail beforehand so that I could have got my head round the task properly and put myself in genuine ‘guinea-pig’ mode.
I’d assumed I’d be trying lots of different Hovis products and I was really looking forward to seeing what tasty offering they have.
The first week involved filling out a survey everyday to see what my morning eating habits were before the challenge. That seemed simple enough. I was asked what I ate, when I ate, if I snacked during the morning and when I started to feel hungry again.
I did feel a little smug for not eating breakfast or for being a ‘snacker’. I’m a pretty typical woman so not eating leaves me with a virtuous feeling. Although the general healthy eating message is that if you miss breakfast you are more likely to snack and develop unhealthy eating habits. I knew I wasn’t feeling hungry because I tend to eat fairly carb-loaded suppers. So I’m not actually a conventional carb-avoider.
I was now really looking forward to the following week of the challenge where I’d receive my ‘food parcel’ and eat Hovis for breakfast every day.
The second week I was to fill in the daily survey again with eating my Hovis bread instead and I’d hopefully see the difference.
Missed deliveries and confusion meant I finally got to start phase two around 2 ½ weeks after phase one.
It shouldn’t have really made any difference but it did.
The promised food parcel was disappointing when it finally arrived. One (yes, only one!) rather squashed loaf of Hovis Wholemeal arrived accompanied by an assortment of yoghurt, cottage cheese, bananas, blueberries, grapes, cream cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs. I’d been sent some recipe ideas for my Hovis and these healthy foods, but frankly I was really tempted to eat any of them with bread. The best I could do was marmite, cream cheese and an egg or tomatoes but my thin slice of Hovis, delicious though it was, seemed disappointingly insubstantial. Like a half-starved waif it flopped and fainted when I try to pack it full with goodies.
In the intervening time, I coincidentally had been on Vicky’s bread-making course. This one was to learn how to make sourdough breads. Sourdough is a living culture and you have to keep making bread to keep it going! By the time my singleton’s loaf of wholemeal Hovis arrived my kitchen was awash with rustic loaves and I was busy eating through them, breakfast lunch and dinner!
Ironically, I was now having to keep my Hovis loaf hidden behind my own home-made bread at the back of a kitchen from my hungry boys who’ll snaffle anything within their grasp. The loaf was just enough for two slices a day for my breakfast only, everyday for a week and no more…
Alas, try as I did, I couldn’t keep my ten-year old’s hands off it. He made himself a packed lunch with it on one day when my back was turned and helped himself to Hovis bread for toast a couple of times before school in the morning…he just loved it.
Best laid plans and all….
However, I’m using a lot of Hovis flour in the bread I make and it does the job.
To support the Hovis Wholemeal Campaign, Hovis is also launching a Facebook App, found at www.facebook.com/hovisbakery, to help encourage women to stay motivated and stop snacking this January.
You might be interested to know about Farmhouse Breakfast Week Sunday 23rd Saturday 29th January 2011.
This is a sponsored post for Hovis.
- Hovis Wholemeal Challenge Part 1 (jessicamilln.wordpress.com)
- The Kitchen Thinker: Real Bread (telegraph.co.uk)
- Understanding Different Types of Bread (plentyonyourplate.com)
- The Flavour Weekly: Proper coffee and real bread (beyondthepasty.wordpress.com)