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What Is It?
Complan is basically a meal in a drink. It contains all the goodness of a meal plus 26 vitamins and minerals your body needs. There are lots of reasons why somebody may use Complan for instance some elderly people do as their digestive system cannot cope with the bulk of food, people who are losing weight opt for these as they are healthier, and finally people who are underweight or who are losing weight consume these as with full fat milk they can be fattening, especially for one drink. It all depends on the quantity you drink and any extras you add in, for instance you can add in ice cream as well.
The packaging says that it provides energy, helps maintain good health, provides nutrients, and contains B vitamins, iron, Vitamin C and Calcium. The drink itself is like a milkshake, you simply pour some milk into a glass, add the mixture and whisk. There are four flavours of Complan out currently and these are: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla and Banana. You can get Complan in most supermarkets and almost every pharmacy, although the prices do vary significantly. The average price seems to be around £4 for a box of four sachets, although I am quite sure that you would be able to ask your GP for a prescription if you have health problems.
Why Did I Buy It?
About a month ago I was prescribed some new medication for my migraines and one of the side effects is weight loss. Before beginning the medication I was 9 stone exactly and in the month I am now 8 stone 6, so the weight is falling off quite a bit. The doctor who prescribed me the medication recommended that I try Complan once or twice a day as well as a meal, to keep my weight stable.
I purchased my Complan off the internet from Amazon and because I had a gift card remaining I think I had £1.20 left to pay, when I brought two boxes which came to £8.40, including delivery. Although I got it cheap this time because of the gift certificate, I still think that £8.40 for eight sachets is rather a lot, especially considering my doctor told me to have two per day. That means eight sachets will last only four days! It would work out very expensive having to pay out nearly £16 per week for Complan!
The drink itself is quite easy to make. The instructions say to make it in a glass, but I would actually make it in a jug first - mainly because you get lumps in it otherwise and it tastes foul! Hopefully by making it in a larger area you might be able to whisk out the lumps. I will warn you now it tastes nothing like banana and the taste is not very nice in the slightest! In fact it is pretty disgusting. I have used only one sachet of the banana Complan and gone onto the Strawberry instead.
The packaging is really clear and concise, meaning you can read the instructions on how to make the shake without throwing the contents of the box everywhere or over the kitchen floor. It also tells you about all the different vitamins and minerals that Complan contains, probably to make swallowing the drink a little easier!
Obviously, my weight has now stabilized and I'm still at 8 stone 6. I have tried to eat more food as well, but it really isn't as easy as that when you have no appetite.
I think the price has to be the biggest put off to anyone really, unless they can get it on prescription from their GP. This would only really happen though if you had a medical condtion that warranted it, or it was a long ongoing thing. Nevertheless, £16 per week for replacement meals is a fair bit, whatever your income.
The other big let down is the taste I'm afraid. From the reviews I read, I was led to believe that it was just like drinking banana milkshake - and I tell you I love banana milkshake! Trust me though, it isn't. It's bitty, lumpy and too milky to start with and the flavour is no way banana. In fact I would be surprised if that drink had ever seen a banana.
Would I Recommend It?
Of course, everyone has different tastes, but I'm not sure many people like the idea of a sick shake - which is what Complan Banana practically is. Sure the idea, and the theory is there they just need to work a bit harder on the flavouring. 2/5 for me.
At this time of year I'm so used to all my friends talking about diets, facebooks status's whinging on about day 10 not going great by 8am when they have over eaten already lol. I used to be like that. Once upon a time I was a size 20 (almost a size 22 in fact) and weighing in at 15 and a half stone. I'd been a big girl all my life really and hated it to be honest, even earning the nickname of Blubber (a famous Judy Blume book out at the time).
Fitness and exercise escaped my world and in life I was rather spoiled in every respect from my parents, good food was not a foreign concept to me!
I'd tried diets, for a day or so but gave up and listened to the big bone theory waved about by my Mum on a regular basis.
However things changed when I met a guy, got in an abusive relationship and around that time joined Weightwatchers. I was living in London away from my Coventry home and unhappy, well I set about once and for all being a skinny minny (my goal) and happily lost 6 stone in just a over a year...the healthy way. I signed the gold member board and got free membership for my life and had never felt so proud.
However in the meantime and to cut a long story short my ex set fire to me and its fair to say our relationship was well and truely over, well it was apart from stalking and police involvement.
This time, as you can imagine was stressful for me (and my family) and whilst I should have been working on my maintainance plan with Weighwatchers I ended up leaving my meetings due to moving, feeling so down and not knowing the correct way really to keep my weight lose and it wasn't long until I started to flounder.
Back in my home environment though my parents went back to spoiling me....and with food and I didn't know how to handle it. I wanted to eat, after all food had been my best mate for years but I knew in my heart I was going to undo all my good work which started to terrify me.
So an eating disorder popped up. Yep I became bulimic at the age of 25 and now at 37 years old the evidence of it is bad. My teeth are week and missing enamel, my immune eystem is is incredibly poor and I'm rather in bad physical health. At my worst time I went down to less than a size 6 which at 5.8ish wasn't a good look to rock looking back and I ended up in therapy and all sorts.
These days I still suffer from my eating disorder I won't lie. I have good days and bad but try my best to combat it and do have alot of help from my GP and support workers and things like that.
One of the issues I suffer with is tiredness. This isn't just because of the eating disorder though but I also suffer with M.E and a few other bits and pieces (lol) and with not eating right my immune system is appalling which means I catch everything going.
These were prescribed to me by my Doctor to try. They are meal replacement shakes, great for someone with foody issues like I do but these are not only for people with eating problems such as mine. They are a great build up shake and great for anyone who has been ill in any way at all. If you've lost weight unexpectedly through illeness or have no appetite these are ideal for you!
Now I'm pretty sure I have tried every single flavour of these now and of course this one is the banana variety, not one I was looking forward to as although I like bananas I don't tend to like banana flavours in other things!
The box they come in is yellow and white and on the front of it there is a picture of the shake and we are told that they are 'Nutrition When You Need It' Complan Shack and that they are Banana Flavour 'Vitamin enriched, meal in a drink' and that in my box thre are 4 x 57g sachets.
Other information given on the box includes being told a bit about the product and how to make them up, ingredients and a full nutritional chart is given and we are also told that they contain no artificial colours, preservatives or sweeteners and are gluten free and suitable for Vegetarian and Halal diets too. The sachets are dark blue and white and large, easy to tear open and apart from the nutritional information given on the box in appearance are pretty much the same really as the box.
Well with these you have a couple of options of how to use them. You can mix one easy to tear open sachet of the creamy coloured fine powder with 200ml of whole milk to provide you with 386 calories which equates to a main meal or mix it with the same amount of water to give 250 calories per serving which equates to a light meal.
This is ever so easy and simple to mix up. Just takes a hand whisk or a fork and a good beating to beat the powder to a thickish shake (its a lot thicker of course when made up with whole mik) and it smells of banana.
Containing too many to mention vitamins and minerals this I actually like and the flavour of it is actually rather pleasant. I do have it made up with milk for days I can't face food and as a light meal with water, either way it isn't too sweet, does taste of bananas and is very do-able!
All in all I have found these Complans to be very useful to me indeed. They fill my tummy up a treat, give me all I need in a fuss free way and are a good meal replacement drink when for any reason we are struggling to eat!
Available in all good chemists and supermarkets etc (inc Amazon) priced at about £3.00 for a box of four sachets like mine.
All The Goodness of a Balanced Light Meal / Nutrition when you need it 1.; Provides energy when you need it most 2.; Helps maintain good health 3.; Gives your body the nutrients it needs 4 / ; Specially fortified with: / 26 essential vitamins and minerals / protein for the growth and maintenance of muscle / B vitamins to help release energy / Calcium and Vitamin D for the maintenance of bones / Vitamin C and iron to help support the immune system.