So as you may have seen on my social media, I attended Balance Festival in London yesterday. I had been looking forward to this event for so long, with talks from some industry leading professionals in fitness, food and well being what was there not to love?! Being a huge foodie, Registered Nutritionist, and yoga instructor (to be) I felt this was going to be my dream event.
Not only were there huge bloggers, famous PT’s, Doctors, Psychologists etc there were actual Registered Nutritionists speaking too! (woohoo)
So, I thought seeing as this was a London event (PLEASE bring one to Manchester!) I would share some highlights of the festival from my Saturday visit for people that couldn’t make it down.
I managed to catch the ‘Fitness Feast’ in the cooking theatre… the line up for this was a big selling point for the event for me and my PT friend Jamie-Anne. Here are a few reasons why: Zanna Van Dijk, Clean Eating Alice, The Food Medic (what a woman) and Healthy Chef Steph were all talking in this event and if you do not follow them already then where have you been?!
The live cooking theatre was full of lovely food and a lively discussion between the four, with Zanna interviewing them all as they cooked. Dr Hazel Wallace (The Food Medic) spoke about how there is no secret when it comes to nutrition and how her nutrition principle is to encourage people to cook more foods from scratch, that there is no food to blame such as gluten, sugar or fat and it is basically down to us eating too much.
Clean Eating Alice then spoke about how her passion is to get everyone involved in fitness and to increase how much people move their body whether it be yoga, swimming or weights everyone will have a style that suits them.
The three social media entrepreneurs spoke about how the key to success is to be yourself and to do things because you have something to say not to just follow the crowd. The ladies then served up their delicious feast of a starter, main and dessert for all the audience to try. A really lovely, inspirational session to watch.
First of all the lab needs to be bigger! There were queues out of the door for almost every talk which meant I missed one or two I really wanted to catch however, I did manage attend a couple of fab ones.
I went to watch Pixie Turner and Maxine Ali discuss ‘Ditching the Label’ I may be biased when it comes to fellow nutritionist Pixie but she is so refreshing and one of very few people who is really putting #nutribollocks to bed (thankfully!) Maxine is a health writer who I felt has a fantastic view on how we identify ourselves through food. The ladies opened with the question of ‘do we identify ourselves by the way we eat? Such as vegetarian, vegan, low carb, gluten free etc’ and then explained the pros and cons of doing this. I could write a whole blog on this talk but I thought I would summarise by putting some of my favourite quotes from the ladies below:
“By calling something clean, does that mean that other foods are dirty?!”
“Guilt free – what makes foods tied to your emotions so much it makes it guilty”
“Real food – is great on the surface but if we have burger does that make the burger fake but the lettuce real?”
“If we named an Energy ball a Calorie ball would you still buy it?! After all calories and energy are the same thing”
“There is no such thing as a perfect diet for everyone”
“Be mindful of the words we use as they can have positive or negative connotations for different people”
“Food is so much more than fuel”
With my practical exams coming up for my YTT Course it was only right to fit as much yoga into the day as I could. I managed to catch International Yoga Instructor Julie Montagu talk on ‘Small Moments of Self Care’ This subject was really inspiring as Julie spoke about her journey to discovering yoga and how after years of supporting her family through a really difficult time a Vinyasa class completely changed her life. Julie’s take home message was to empower yourself and see how you can show yourself self care everyday – Julie did a great exercise in identifying if self care is something you do already or maybe need to add into your daily life… so watch this space as this is something I definitely want to bring to my future yoga classes.
There were an array of classes being held this weekend from tri yoga to barre to boom cycle! The classes booked up so fast which meant I missed some I would’ve like to try but I managed to get on a UN1T class – a 20 minute athletic conditioning circuit class with just 1 minute rest in the middle. It is safe to say I was exhausted. The UN1T team were fab and very motivating whilst ensuring your technique was correct (which I find quite refreshing in a circuit style class) I would definitely recommend to try their classes if you are in London.
The festival did not disappoint when it came to the food market, with companies such as ‘Rolla Granola’ ‘Deliously Ella’ and ‘Rebel Kitchen’ it seemed every ‘healthy’ brand was in attendance.
The balanced café was great, serving up culinary delights from around the world – my personal favourite was the pulled pork tacos but they also had a Vurger stall, Spicebox station and Sano to go too!
Gutted to have missed:
Laura Thomas – Don’t Salt My Game Podcast Host (if you have any interest in nutrition and intuitive eating check this podcast out! I am addicted) Laura was talking about ‘Ditching the diet rules’ if any of you caught this please let me know how it was!
Health Bloggers Community – As a new member of the HBC this was something I was hoping to attend – the topic of the talk was ‘Monetising Content’ – any HBC bloggers who made it please contact me.
Angry Chef in the Live Cooking Theatre ‘Bad science and the trust about healthy eating’- I am a huge fan of Angry Chef, his blog posts are always bold and entertaining but again refreshing as he is putting a lot nutribollocks in its place with relevant subject matter experts! Any highlights on what he covered in his cooking theatre event would be fab please?!
The Nutribollocks –
So, it seems nowadays you cannot go to a food or fitness event without being told you need to be drinking charcoal or alkaline water, consuming protein powders at least once a day or how you are now able to substitute fresh vegetables with green supplements (eye roll!) but Balance festival really did live up to its name and have something for everyone – ice creams, juices, oats, cheesecakes, supplements and of course peanut butter and chocolate which of course made me a very happy girl!
Balance Festival did not disappoint, a really great food and fitness event with amazing presentations, talks and food whilst being surrounded by like minded people! I will be posting photos on my instagram over the next week and also sharing any other bloggers highlights I can hunt down on Twitter. Keep an eye out!