Last Saturday I dragged Michael to Fare Healthy, a much-anticipated (on my behalf) day of learning about new and exciting food & exercise techniques, with some of the nation’s (and my) current favourite culinary icons.
Despite the event being held in Kensal Green (a good hour’s return journey for us), with tickets costing only £10 each the day was a real steal, as far as I’m concerned. The venue, Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, was totally stunning and a lovely environment in which to meet all of my favourite healthy foodies. There was loads of natural light pouring in with stunning pieces of décor dotted around.
The Hemsley sisters, Ella Woodward (Deliciously Ella) and Natasha Corrett (Honestly Healthy) were all there selling yummy goodies & their recipes books, doing book signings, and giving talks & demonstrations.
Considering how popular all of these women have become recently, it was surprising how intimate and personal the event felt, with all of them happy to speak to the attendees individually at length. I thought the Hemsley’s were particularly friendly and welcoming towards the hoard of girls wanting to steal a moment of their time, take photos and ask for autographs, including me I’m pleased to say!
The Hemsley demonstration was the first one that Michael and I saw of the day, where the lovely duo spoke at length of their food philosophy and showcased their spiralizer, whipping up zucchini noodles served with both a Bolognese sauce and kale pesto for the audience to try.
Once some scissors had been located and order restored, everyone tucked in; the “mmm’s” around the room were hard to miss. The sisters did a great job of showing how versatile a spiralizer can be, passing round spiralized red apples with cinnamon next, which was truly delicious, and proving that foods presented in a different way to what we expect can completely transform our enjoyment of them. They saved the best till last though, with wooden boards of their ‘Paradise Bars’ (essentially a healthy Bounty bar) floating across the sea of heads for us all to pinch as they went by. Considering how tasty all of the food was and how many of us were crowded into the room, it was a surprisingly civilized and polite affair, with everyone sharing and offering to one another.
I thought the Paradise Bars were out of this world, full of healthy fats and low in sugar, they really are a very rich and satiating treat that might (might!) possibly be able to be consumed just one at a time in the (distant) future. I will 100% be recreating these at home as they were really sensational, and I clearly wasn’t the only one who thought so as their stall had sold out by the time their demonstration ended!
It was now lunchtime so Michael and I took the opportunity to squeeze past all of the other foodies crammed into the venue and check out some of the other stall holders offering tasty treats to see who was going to be our pick of the bunch for lunch. Cocoface, Botanic Lab Juice and intriguing Fare Healthy cocktails, such as ‘Green Juicetini’; “fresh cucumber, kale, celery, apple & lime juice with lucuma powder, agave, vodka & mint” had the drinks front covered, whilst Nama, The Good Life Eatery and Peardrop offered wholesome meals & snacks.
In the end, we went for a bit of a mix & match, choosing to buy juices & pudding from The Good Life Eatery, and quinoa burgers served with sliced avocado, a kale & walnut pesto, roasted tomatoes, and mixed greens from Peardrop.
At £6.50 per juice they didn’t come cheap, and although the beetroot flavour was much nicer than the pure green juice, I don’t think I’ll be running over to Sloane Square to get my hands on some more in a hurry. But then again I don’t really drink juices or my veggies in liquid form, so I am happy to accept that I wasn’t the fairest judge.
The ‘lunchbox’ from Peardrop though was utterly delicious. The quinoa burgers were seriously good with the kale & walnut pesto and I can’t wait to try to make them at home!
We then munched on our sweet treats from The Good Life Eatery; Michael chose the ‘protein amazeballs’, made from cranberry, fig, bee pollen, dates and almonds, which I didn’t think particularly much of (my Cacao Superfood Bites are honestly way better, in my opinion anyway!), but he enjoyed. I tucked into their chia seed pudding, which I thought was really good, but Michael thought was bland, so that just goes to show how we’re all different!
Other options on hand to satisfy the sweet tooth were Pearl & Groove, selling delicious gluten-free cakes and biscuits, and Livia’s crumble, offering guilt-free healthy crumbles, of which I bought two to try at home later (for me a crumble’s gotta be hot!).
I can tell you now that the crumbles were really good for what they were (refined sugar; gluten; dairy; and wheat-free), and are definitely an excellent option as a healthy alternative to the traditional crumble, but they don’t quite match it on a pure taste comparison.
Other stall holders included Mind Body Bowl, selling homemade granola, and Qnola, a new breakfast product launched by the full-time model and nutritionist, Danielle Copperman, which is gluten; grain; dairy; and sugar-free, made using superfoods and is high in protein, fibre, antioxidants and essential fats. I tried a taster of the beetroot & pistachio flavour with a bit of natural coyo and must say that it was pretty damn tasty.
By the time we were done looking around it was time for Deliciously Ella to take the stage, who gave a fairly short talk about her food philosophy and general outlook, which was well delivered and very positive, followed by a relatively lengthy Q&A session, which was really excellent as a lot of us more amateur healthy foodies seem to be seeking answers to the same questions, and it was great to hear her thoughts on topics I hadn’t thought of myself.
Sadly she didn’t give out any of her tasty treats for us to try like Hemsley + Hemsley did, but she was more than happy to take a photo with myself and Annie, the creator of Mind Body Bowl, who is also part of the Deliciously Ella team, both of whom I spent time with at one of Ella’s cooking classes last summer.
As well as all the current leading healthy foodies and food brands, there was also the option to get seriously sweaty upstairs, with the likes of Russell Bateman putting people through the tough paces of Skinny Bitch Collective (SBC) workout, which I can confirm is pretty grueling, having attended one of his classes recently; Simon Bateman from HIIT Gyms; and Frame, teaching fans how to shake their asses like Queen Bey in his Beyonce Dance Workshop. For those who didn’t want to need a shower mid-day, Mischa Varmuza offered yoga and Lululemon hosted a Visions & Goals workshop.
I had a really amazing & inspiring day out; Michael survived it and found it interesting, which I think is a pretty good result considering he was one of probably three other males there! It’s so motivational being surrounded by like-minded people that have the same goals and passions as you, and I left feeling uplifted with renewed energy & spirit to get in that kitchen and be creative. I was also pretty chuffed by the seriously nice Planet Organic goodie bag, which featured a generous jar of coconut & almond butter (amazing!), a large bag of their gluten-free, sprouted, naked oats, and a snack bag of their Rawnola cacao & vanilla bites, which everyone got to take home. There was also Vita Coco extra virgin coconut oil being handed out, so all-in-all some rather expensive & delicious freebies given out, which was a nice bonus! For anyone interested in healthy eating I really recommend looking into the people and brands showcased at Fare Healthy, as they put a new and truly exciting spin on food that will transform your view of ‘healthy food’.