A few weekends ago, my mum and I enjoyed a long weekend in London to spend some quality time together around Mother’s Day. Since I moved out about a year ago, we always make an effort to do things together, whether here in Manchester or over in Ripon, Yorkshire, but this was a fantastic opportunity to go to a city, just the two of us, where my parents spent many years working when I was a little one before moving up North!
The main reason we went down was because I was invited by the wonderful people at Upbeat Drinks to the first Be:Fit London, a three-day women’s health and fitness festival at the gorgeous location of Old Billingsgate, right beside the River Thames. Dedicated to offering the long-term tools to be strong, fit and healthy, this appealed to me – no silly crash diets or quick fixes, this event was about celebrating some of the best health, fitness and nutrition brands, plus offering fitness classes, health checks and seminars to help us women make lifestyle changes and choices for optimum results.
Arriving by lunchtime on Friday, mum and I easily made our way to our hotel which was conveniently opposite the venue, quickly changed, then headed over to the packed event. The friendly, buzzing and energising vibe was contagious as soon as we stepped inside, met by numerous stands of all sorts of wonderfully colourful brands, from food to fitness wear. We spent all day tasting super healthy samples, talking to people behind some of the top health brands and learning about new super healthy products.
Here are just some of the many brands we came across who we had a chat with, sampled and genuinely really enjoyed:
Being a huge fan of the whey protein drinks company for a while now, it was great to finally meet some of the team and faces behind the upbeat brand. I must thank these guys again for inviting my mum and I down, their stand was constantly buzzing over the three days with people unable to resist their delicious protein-packed, low fat dairy drinks. You can read more about their products on my blog right here.
Organic Super Blends / Love Raw
I am very fussy with health food bars, from the ingredients to the taste and texture, but I fell in love with Love Raw’s artisan hand-made organic food bars immediately; these were different and certainly some of the best I have ever tasted. Offering Coconut & Chia, Cacao & Spirulina, Rosehip & Lemon plus Cacao & Maca, all were naturally delicious and packed full of high quality, organic ingredients which actually tasted homemade with the ideal balance of flavours.
It was hard for mum and I to choose a favourite but we bought a couple of each to take away. The people behind the company were passionate and knowledgeable about the health benefits of their products plus the combination of flavours to achieve the best results.
Also on this stand were the range of four ‘super blends’: Alkaline Greens, Energise, Skin Food and Omega 3, chia based superfood powder blends to boost smoothies, juices and yogurts. An ideal product for those of us with busy lives but want a health boost – I need to get ordering these to try in my own smoothies and protein drinks!
Having been a fan of Meridian Foods for a long time, it was fantastic to finally meet some of the team behind the brand and talk to them about their new nut bars, available in peanut and almond flavours. I’m addicted to their nut butters, which are simply delicious with no added ingredients to ruin their natural flavours. These bars lived up to expectations – incredibly tasty, chewy, moist and nutty and just the right level of sweetness. I felt privileged to try these before they hit the shops – these bars have become a regular part of my diet now when I need a protein/nut fix!
It was great to tweet these guys in the run-up to the event and meeting them was a pleasure. Little Miracles organic drinks are all about blending “an energising fusion of nature’s most revitalising fruits and purest tea with the zing of Ginseng to give you a refreshingly healthy lift.” Free from artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners with under 90 calories per bottle, mum and I tried all four varieties: Green Tea with Acai, Agave, Ginseng and Pomegranate; White Tea with Acai, Agave, Ginseng and Cherry; Black Tea with Acai, Agave, Ginseng and Peach plus the brand new Lemon Grass Tea with Orange Juice, Ginger, Ginseng & Agave. All were simply delicious and refreshing, it was hard to chose a favourite!
Another brand I’ve always been a big fan of, the Nakd stand was probably one of the busiest thanks to the huge range of health bars available, from their Trek protein bars and flapjacks and Nakd Oatie Bars to infused raisins and little bite-size ‘Bits’. With so much choice, it was easy to try every single variety and be full for hours, but it was great to see this brand do so well and prove so popular.
(Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of the stand but this is a photo when I first discovered their drinks in Boots in Market Street, Manchester!)
Yet another brand who I have tweeted a lot and been a fan of for a while, Savse Smoothies‘ delicious blend of crushed veg, fruit and pure juices are simply delicious, 100% natural and without any added sugar. I had tried the Broccoli, Pear, Spinach & Kale and the Beetroot, Apple, Avocado & Lime ones before but it was great to try more of the range, including the new Mango Yogurt one (the only to contain dairy). Speaking to the team, it was great to hear more about their enthusiasm for the products plus some exciting news coming soon!
Good Hemp Nutrition
I’ve recently been using Good Hemp Fit Shake hemp protein powder in my daily routine after my morning workout, so it was great to meet some of the lovely team and find out more about the brand. I was given a sample of their Good Hemp milk mixed with their chocolate flavoured Weight Check protein powder, which was absolutely delicious and spurred me to try this when I got home. I’m excited to try and experiment more with their range of 100% natural, Omega 3-packed products!
A final huge thank you to the Upbeat Drinks brand, especially Libby, for a fantastic weekend, it was brilliant to try new superfoods on the market, discover new brands and products plus come across familiar names and experience the passion and energy – we’ll see you all there next time!