Apart from serious food, clothes, makeup and lifestyle envy, Instagram also gives me massive location envy…not purely because of the climate and beaches in others cities, but the fact that there always seems to be so much more going on. I can’t keep track of the amount of times I’ve been scrolling through my Instagram feed and come across pictures of the coolest restaurants or ads for events or just random fitness meet ups in city parks only to find out that they’re in Melbourne, New York or London.
One of the events I saw was a Fitness Brunch being organised in England. It sounded like such a simple idea but a great way of bringing together people with a common interest, who probably already know each other from the online #fitfam. There aren’t many events open to the general public that don’t involve a night out and a hangover so since I couldn’t go to that one I thought why not organize one myself?
Initially it was just one of those ideas I thought would never amount to anything but the more I thought about it the more I just thought “why not?”. So four weeks ago I decided to give it a go and start organizing it. So from 9-5 everyday I went to my ‘real job’ and at lunchtime, evenings, (nights…) and weekends I spent my time blogging and planning the Bootcamp Brunch. Initially I tentatively sent a few emails to local companies asking if they’d like to get involved. I had no idea what they would think but thankfully most of them were more than happy to. All the companies are Irish and many are family run which I really like as I love to know the people and stories behind a brand (you can read my full post on all the companies here).
Once I got the first few companies on board and they seemed really into my idea I was sure I’d have no problem selling tickets! I don’t really know why I thought this as a degree in Science and working alone in a lab really doesn’t prepare you for being a salesperson! Thank God I was born stubborn and with a lot of perseverance as after a week of “marketing” my event I think I had sold two tickets… In hindsight maybe a Sunday in August when the Galway hurling match was on wasn’t the best time to hold an event… As the day got closer and my hallway and fridge started to fill up with boxes of product samples for my at the time, non-existent participants I was still surprisingly optimistic even though my family started dropping hints that they might “mention” my event to distant relatives and ask them if they wanted to come along…
But anyways, maybe people enjoyed watching me sweat a bit on Facebook with some “gentle” reminders about the event as over the last few days (and hours) tickets flew out! The group of people who did get tickets (even though they probably weren’t sure exactly what they were getting themselves in for) couldn’t have been a lovelier bunch. However, as they tentatively stepped into The Training Ground on Sunday and saw the session that Geoffrey had written up on the board I’m fairly sure I saw a few glances to the escape routes. But the point of the bootcamp wasn’t to transform anyone into an Olympic athlete in an hour, it was supposed to be a challenging yet enjoyable workout, which it was, thanks to Geoffrey Sheridan who is a fantastic trainer. I’ve trained with him for nearly two years now doing group fitness classes as well as semi-personal strength training and can’t recommend him enough (if you’re looking to get signed up for classes in September check out The Training Ground and book in now as it usually fills up pretty fast).
For our workout we started up with a warmup before moving on to some partner drills, a kettlebell circuit, a tabata core session, a team workout (where everyone sneakily let out their competitive sides) and how else would you finish off a workout other than with some burpees!
After we were suitably exhausted and had worked up an appetite it time for some food! You can read my full post about all the food and producers here but in short we were treated to savoury crepes, gluten and dairy free pancakes and coffee from Mr Waffle Mr Waffle (who even very thoughtfully supplied lactose free and almond milk). Tea drinkers were in for a treat as Solaris Botanicals provided us with a range of flavours from organic Irish breakfast tea to the more exotic Jasmine Green Tea, Chunmee Green Tea, Green Tea Chai and Rooibos Cacao Chai (my favourite and it’s naturally caffeine free so it’s perfect for before bed). There were also a range of juices from orange, apple, carrot, mango and beetroot from Limerick based producer Wild Orchard Juices.
For the next course there was Glenisk Greek Style Natural Yogurt served with granola from Galway based producer Bowl-a-Granola or some Linwoods superfoods including milled flaxseed, milled flaxseed and goji berry and milled flaxseed, almond, Brazil nut, walnut and Co-enzyme Q10 which are all brilliant sources of omega fatty acids and vitamins and minerals needed for healthy skin, hair and nails.
To finish the meal of on a sweet note there were gluten-free flapjacks and cookies from The Foods of Athenry as well as the most delicious raw vegan caramel slices from Bliss Bites Bakery, a little gem of a producer supplying Galway with healthy desserts.
Between first, second and third helpings everyone got a chance to chat and get to know each other and quiz Geoffrey and myself with any questions about fitness, training, nutrition and blogging. After a quick group photo everyone got their hands on the amazing goodie bags (which were so in demand I even had a few people asking me after the event if there were any left over that they could buy!). Because they were jammed full I’ll just do a list of what was in them but follow my snapchat (superfitfoodie), Instagram (@the_superfit_foodie), twitter (@aisling_harris) and Facebook to see me using the products:
- Bowl-a-Granola Full size samples
- Wyldsson ProMix (with 15% off online discount code “superfit” which you can all use)
- Linwoods Flaxseed samples
- Iswari Breakfast mix and raw chocolate
- Market 57/www.kitchencookware.ie goodie bags (with keep fresh banana storage bags, melon ballers, apple corers, orange peeler gadgets, vegetable peelers and environmentally friendly cotton cleaning cloths).
- Foods of Athenry Granola bar and gluten-free crackers
- Solaris tea samples
- Evergreen product samples and pens
- Glenisk high protein yogurt pots, cool bags and workout tops
- O’Egg liquid egg whites and liquid full eggs
- Voucher for 3 free classes in The Training Ground
As you can see I wasn’t lying when I said how amazing these were and I’ve had so much fun trying them all out! Check out my other blog post on all the suppliers for more details of the products, companies and where you can get your hands on them.
Overall the event went so well and I had so many inquiries about when the next one would be that I’ve decided to host another one later this year so if you’re interested in coming to that keep an eye out on my page or subscribe to my blog (just enter your email address). In the meantime I’ll get back to posting more recipes and workouts as I know I’ve been a slack of them over the last few weeks getting ready for this. I’m also going to be starting my Masters in Human Nutrition in September so am looking forward to sharing with you all that I’ll be learning!
To finish off I just want say a huge thank you to Geoffrey Sheridan of The Training Ground, all the companies that backed my idea and got on board, my Mom for driving half way across the country (twice) to collect samples while I was at work (and letting me hijack her fridge for a week) and finally and most importantly to everyone who came to the event, despite not really knowing what they were in for, but supporting me and being the loveliest bunch to host my first ever event for. Looking forward to seeing you all and some new faces at the next one!
Looking forward to the next one already,