Health and Fitness Events You Must Attend This Year

One thing I’ve tried to do since moving to London is go to more events and meet new people. I now regularly go to events which are tailored forwards my interest in health and fitness. Sometimes these events can be hard to find out about but sites such as Eventbrite are perfect sources for finding things to go to. I’ve done a list of events which I think sound good and I hope to attend this year…

  1. Fit and Fresh Fest – 28th January at The Hoxton, London, EC2A 3HU
    The Fit and Fresh is a one day fitness festival. Without a ticket you can browse the activewear sample sales, beauty and wellness treatments and the health food market. There are exercise classes, kitchen takeovers and talks which you can attend for £5 each. These include Barry’s Bootcamp, Tally Rye’s HIIT, Girl Gains, The Food Medic and Lululemon.
    https://hoxtown.com/events/fresh-plus-fit-fest-2017
  2. Fare Healthy – 4th and 5th February at The Old Trueman Brewery, London, E1 6QL
    Fare Healthy is marketed as a ‘feel good festival of food, exercise and well-being’. The festival is divide into three main sections – eat, move and think. It has the likes of Pip and Nut, Deliciously Ella, Livia’s Kitchen and Clean Eating Alice within their line-up.
    http://www.farehealthy.com/
  3. HBC Summit – 15th April at The Hoxton, London, EC2A 3HU
    The HBC (Health Bloggers Community) Summit is an event which aims to bring together health anf fitness bloggers. The day contains workshops and Q&As with guest speakers Pixie Turner (Plantbased Pixie) , Alice Liveing (Cleaning Eating Alice) and Amy Hopkinson (online editor at Women’s Health).
    https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hbc-summit-tickets-30491130793?ref=ebtn
  4. Be:FIT – 28th-30th April at the Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH
    Be:FIT is a health and fitness festival which is due to return to London for its fourth year. This year, the highlights include the Another_Space cycle studio, the Protein World Functional Studio, the Reebok Fitness Studio and well as an exhibition full of shopping opportunities.
    http://www.befitlondon.com/
  5. BodyPower – 12th-14th May at the NEC, Birmingham, B40 1NT
    BodyPower is probably the biggest event of everything bodybuilding, gym and fitness. It is the place to go to sample that protein bar that you could never justify buying due to the price, as well as getting to see the British Weighting athletes in action. You can watch the bodybuilding shows or just take advantage to try the samples on offer!
    https://www.bodypower.com/expo/uk
  6. Balance Festival – 12th-14th May at The Old Trueman Brewery, London, E1 6QL
    The Balance Festival is packed full of fitness classes, live cooking and big brands. The fitness studios include F45, Barry’s and Equinox. The live cooking theatre boasts Clean Eating Alice, Healthy Chef Steph and Zanna Van Dijk.
    http://www.balance-festival.com/ 

 

2016 – a Year in Review

2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year for me. I have had the chance to compete internationally as a powerlifter, I have graduated and started my new job.

In January, I was invited to the GB team squad training which was sandwiched in between my first semester final year university exams. From the training, I was selected to go to the European Classic Championships in Estonia in March. I came third overall in the Junior u47kg category at the European Classic Champs with a silver medal in the deadlift which was also a Junior British deadlift record of 120kg. Under a week later, I competed at the British Universities Championship where I came first in the u47kg category despite feeling horrifically fatigued from being Estonia having travelled back only a few days before. I learnt that doing two competitions less than a week apart is something I do not want to do again – it’s too much!

 

From March to June, I was training, completing my final year project/dissertation and revising for my second semester final year exams at university. I completed my final university exams in June and a few days later, I flew off to Texas to compete at the World Classic Championships. Training for Worlds, completing my dissertation and revising for my finals all simultaneously was extremely challenging but I’m thankful for the opportunities given to me. At the World Classic Champs, I came fourth in the Junior u47kg category and I achieved a bronze medal in the deadlift, breaking the Junior British record again with 125kg. I was so unbelievably proud to be on the podium at Worlds as I didn’t expect it! After Worlds, I travelled to New York to visit my cousin for a few days which was an opportunity of a life time and a trip I will treasure forever.

 

Once I returned from New York, I had approximately six weeks until the All England Championships. After being on such a high from all the excitement, I did feel an anti-climax coming home which I think affected my training. In July, I graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours BSc in Computer Science. I was so proud of myself for achieving a First after such a busy few months. In August, I competed and came first at the All England Championships but I took a different approach to the competition. I allowed myself to be more relaxed and enjoyed it a lot more as a result. After the competition, I went to Mallorca with my family for a much needed holiday.

In September, I moved to London and started my graduate job. It was hard to adjust to a new environment, a desk job and to training after a day at work. Subsequently, a back niggle gradually came on and despite de-loading, it became more of an injury. Although, I did reduce the weight I was lifting, I wanted to compete at the British Classic Championships in October as it was my last competition as a Junior. I came third at this competition and my deadlift was 15kg below my personal best due to my back. I was content with new personal best for my squat and bench. I also had my powerlifting club, my mum, my sister and my coach travel to Newcastle to support me which meant the world.

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Since my last competition, I have been working on my mobility and trying to correct my APT (Anterior Pelvic Tilt) among other postural issues. I believe that this is the reason I have had muscular problems /pains with my back in the past. At the end of November, after four years my boyfriend and I parted ways which was hard but everything happens for a reason. I spent December building up my training slowly again. I also enjoyed the festive indulgences with friends, creating a month of memories so as to end 2016 on a high.

2016 – you were a crazy year, full of ups and downs but definitely a year to be remembered.

 

 

 

The Foodie Fitness Freak Christmas Gift Guide

I LOVE Christmas but sometimes it can be so hard trying to figure out what to buy for your friends and family. I’ve put together a list of items (most of which I own so I can recommend) in different price ranges which I believe would make good presents for the ‘foodie fitness freak’. Some are tailored more towards powerlifting and the gym, others towards blogging and so on!

 

Under £5under5

  1. Grenade Carb Killa Protein Bar (my favourite flavours are White Chocolate Cookie and Caramel Chaos) – £2.50 from Grenade

  2. Heart Shaped Bowl – £3.00 from Wilko
  3. Pip and Nut Coconut Almond Butter – £4.59 from Holland and Barrett

 

Under £15under15

  1. Hard Spiky Massage Ball – £7.00 from 66fit

  2. Eat Well Every Day – Clean Eating Alice – £9.00 from Amazon (pre-order)
  3. The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells – £10.68 from Amazon

  4. STRONG by Zanna Van Dijk – £11.04 from Amazon (pre-order)

 

Under £25

  1. Chilly’s Bottle – 500ml £20 from Chilly’sunder25

  2. Tobisha FlashAir WiFi SD Card (basically allows you to get photos straight from your camera to your phone) – 16GB – £23.99 from Amazon

 

 

Under £50under50

  1. JM Posner Waffle Maker – £26.95 from Amazon

  2. Strength Shop Fractional Plates – £39.99 from Strength Shop

 

More Expensive Giftsexpensive

  1. Lululemon Leggings – £88-£108 depending on style
    (I like the Align Pant II and the Wunder Under Hi-Rise styles) from Lululemon

  2. Inzer Lever Powerlifting Belt – £100 for 10mm, £124 for 13mm(excluding shipping) from Inzer

  3. Apple Watch  – £269 for series 1, £369 for series 2 from Apple

  4. Olympus PEN E-PL7 Camera – £399 from John Lewis

 

 

Champneys Spa Day

Last weekend I went to Champneys, Tring, for a spa day with my mum and sisters. I organised it as an opportunity to bring us together as we are all living in different places which means it can be hard to find time when we are all free. I actually managed to find the spa days on Groupon for slightly cheaper than usual but it was still in the price range of a special treat! One of my sisters and my mum had already been to Champneys for a spa day several years ago but I wasn’t old enough to go with them at the time (yes, a very long time ago) so it’s something I’ve wanted to do for many years!

When we arrived at Champneys, we were promptly greeted and ushered to the front desk where the itinerary for our day was explained to us. We were also given our complementary flip-flops! The staff were lovely and led us to our light breakfast which was first on the agenda.

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I was so impressed with the breakfast buffet. There was a range of fresh fruit, greek yogurt with a berry compote topped with granola and smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels. To drink they had multiple teas, coffee, orange juice, cranberry juice and a ginger, cranberry and apple drink. My favourites were the smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels and the ginger, cranberry and apple drink, both of which were divine.

After breakfast, we went and found the lockers which we had been allocated for the day. The lockers contained our Champneys bath robes/dressing gowns which most of the guests spent all day in – including us! The lockers were plenty big enough for our bags and coats but the only problem we had was that my sister’s locker was jammed. After finding someone at reception to unlock it, we got changed and went to the swimming pool.

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The swimming pool was empty when we went in and we never found it to be busy (with the exception of a fitness class in the pool) which meant that you could have a leisurely swim. My mum, myself and one of my sisters also had Thalassotherapy in the Thalasso pool included in our day. The Thalasso pool had five stations which had water jets in different places and of different styles. During the Thalassotherapy treatment, we rotated between the different stations. It was quite relaxing having the jets massaging your body while having a chat! The spa kindly allowed my other sister to swap her Thalassotherapy treatment for a facial as she is pregnant and it is not recommended during pregnancy. After the Thalassotherapy, we went in the jacuzzi which was outside. This was my favourite out of the ‘pools’ as the air was cold and fresh but the jacuzzi was boiling hot – perfect.

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After drying off, we went to lunch. All of the meals were balanced and healthy but still plentiful. The lunch buffet was beautifully arranged with an array of hot dishes, bread, soup, salads and desserts. I really, really enjoyed the lunch. The food was so delicious – I only wish I had a second stomach. My favourites were the fresh crusty bread with whipped beetroot butter, the lamb and apricot tagine with couscous and the chicken fajitas with guacamole. From the puddings, my favourite was the lime and coconut rice pudding which I am desperately going to try and recreate!

Once we had finished all of our helpings of lunch, we went to the Terrace cafe for hot drinks. There was a bit of a mix up and we ended up with three drinks instead of four and the lady behind the counter wasn’t particularly helpful or in a rush to serve anyone. Despite this, my hot chocolate was perfect and warmed me up as I hoped it would. As you can imagine, we were all feeling quite full after all the food so we went for a walk to explore the grounds. The walk was refreshing and it was so relaxing to be in the countryside without a busy road in earshot.

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Our next treatment was a 25 minute massage. The lady who did my massage was lovely and made me feel so comfortable. The heated massage bed was like a massive hug and I didn’t want to get up after! I felt that 25 minutes is definitely not long enough for a massage and I felt the massage could have been firmer even after telling masseuse to be so. I thought it was very well organised that the spa managed to book the four of us to has massages at the same time as it meant that we could organise our day as a group.

We also booked additional treatments while we were there. One of my sisters and I had manicures and my mum booked a facial. I thought the ability to book more treatments on the day was handy and it meant we could fully indulge in the spa experience.

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As part of the spa day, fitness classes were also included. Our set lunch time and massage times meant that we were limited to what we could do. I would have liked to have gone to Pilates and Fighting Fit but it would have meant we that we would have rearrange our lunch and our treatments (not worth the hassle). To end the day, we did all go to a Stretch and Relax class. This class was a combination of yoga and stretching which was taught at a level accessible to all. The instructor was brilliant and kept on reminding us to work at our own level.

Overall, I would recommend the Champneys spa day and I hope to return. The whole experience oozed luxury and class. It was the perfect opportunity to relax and spend time with my family (with the except of my poor dad). A spa day would make an expensive but amazing Christmas present *cough cough, hint hint* (I’m so subtle). You can find out more about the Champneys spa days on their website.

 

Lalani & Co and Rawligion’s Matcha Morning

Yesterday I was kindly invited to Rawligion in Fitzrovia for Lalani & Co’s Matcha Morning. Lalani & Co are a family run business who specialise in craft single-batch teas from artisan family-run gardens.

The morning started with Matcha lattes with raw almond milk and Magic’s Matcha-coconut-cayenne-cinnamon drink. They both tasted divine but the latter was incredible – I’ve never tasted a drink with so much flavour.

The first of the savoury dishes was the Matcha ginger chia pudding which was delicious. I really enjoyed the pudding and the ginger was perfectly balanced, not too overpowering.

The next dish was a sweet one and my favourite of the event – raw matcha pancakes with banana and dates. As soon as everyone tried these, the tray that they arrived on was cleared within seconds and I think that says it all.

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The second savoury dish was matcha raw vegan sushi which was my least favourite of the event. It was made with cauliflower which when added with the matcha made it all a bit bland. It just needed an extra flavour to give it a kick!

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The second sweet dish was the coconut matcha chi lime pie. I don’t usually go for citrus desserts when given the option but this was amazing. The lime, coconut and matcha worked perfectly together.

Our last treat did not have matcha in. These were cacao truffles and I could have eaten the whole tray… The truffles were rich and smooth – a luscious way to end the event.

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All of guests were also kindly given goody bags to take away which contained Lalani & Co’s Matcha Gold and Rawligion’s Brain Mylk. We were advised to drink the Brain Mylk on the day as it wouldn’t last so I obliged and oh my goodness, it was fantastic!

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Thank you so much to Lalani & Co and Rawligion for a wonderful morning of matcha goodness! It was lovely to spend time with people who have similar interests and meet new people. I know I tend to write this a lot about events but I came away feeling so content and happy after the Matcha Morning! It was so interesting to see how matcha could be used in sweet and savoury dishes. I also enjoyed learning from Jameel Lalani himself the best way to make matcha which I will take away and use in my own matcha cooking!

 

Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte Review

Apparently I seem to have taken it upon myself to try all the Christmas drinks from each of the main coffee shop chains this year… On Sunday, I tried Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte as I’m a sucker for a Starbucks red cup.

The description of the Toffee Nut Latte –

‘the rich, buttery flavour of sweet toffee is combined with the warmth of toasted nuts and blended with our smooth espresso and velvety steamed milk; topped with whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles’

First things first, why does the whipped cream never look as good as in photos? The latte itself was nice and sweet as expected. I’m not sure I would describe it as ‘buttery’ but it had a sweet nutty, toffee flavour throughout – not just a sludge of syrup at the bottom. I found that the consistency of the coffee was a bit ‘thin’ compared to other Christmas drinks I’ve had. Just as with the whipped cream, I think the person making my drink was stingy with the toffee nut sprinkles (they were obviously immune to my charming skills).

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Overall, I think the Toffee Nut Latte is a nice festive treat and I think I would personally order it again if I found myself in Starbucks over Christmas. I don’t think I would make my way to Starbucks especially for the drink though as at £3.15 for a small, it is very expensive for what it is – good, nice but not mind blowing.

Overall Rating 6/10

MissFits Nutrition x Be:FIT Autumn Takeover Event

On Sunday I had the pleasure of being invited to the MissFits Nutrition x Be:FIT Autumn Takeover Event which was held at BLOK London. MissFits Nutrition are a company who produce ‘The Multitasker’ – a pea protein with added essential ingredients which has been ‘designed with the active woman in mind’.

The event started with a HIIT workout led by Becki (@alt_healthy_becki) and Tessa (@londonpaleogirl). The workout consisted of a variety of different exercises, including press-ups, mountain climbers and squats, some of which were done with a partner. My partner in crime for this event was Melody (@thehappypt_) and it was so much fun!

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After the workout, we all refuelled with MissFit’s own, ‘The Multitasker’ protein shakes and Sambazon acai bowls which were made right in front of us! We were also given goodie bags with products from Pip and Nut, Sukrin, Sweet Freedom, The Protein Ball Co., Two Chicks, Moju, Urban Fruit, Chi, Pop Chips, Pukka, Ugly Drinks and so many more! There was also a LIVE! London clothing rail which offered tempting fitness clothing.

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Once we had all tucked into our protein shakes, acai bowls and goodie bags (as seen below, photo courtesy of @thehappypt_), we then had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Becki and Tessa who were then joined by Chessie King (@chessiekingg). This offered an insight into their fitness routines, diets and generally gave out some sound advice.

I really enjoyed the event and it was so well organised. A huge thank you to Tara at MissFits Nutrition for inviting me! It’s so lovely to meet new people who enjoy fitness as much as I do and also seeing people you have interacted with on Instagram in real life. I have found that I have met some truly lovely people through events such as this.