Last Saturday myself and the lovely Aish from @theglowfeed went to explore Good Roots festival in the heart of east London, for another one of our well-being adventures. Good Roots was set up as a way for the hottest London wellness brands and industry experts to come together and share their passion and knowledge with people like us. An absolute dream day if you ask me, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!
We arrived bright and early to start the day with a yoga practice taught by the glowing Annie Clarke. The setting for the class was like nothing I’d ever seen. An old warehouse decorated with huge glowing stars; a beautiful contrast between industrial and magical. If only my bedroom was big enough to hang a giant star from the ceiling, hey?
Keen to break any ice and help push us out of our comfort zones, Annie started the class with a bit of soul searching. Turning to the yogi next to us, Annie asked us to gaze into their eyes for a full two minutes and search for ourselves within the glossy reflections. The ice breaker worked a dream and everyone made a new friend through a slightly giggly few minutes. The rest of the class was the perfect combination of vinyasa and a few more yoga experiments, including a challenging core pose which I will certainly be taking into my own practice at home. What a beautiful way to wake us up and start the festivities.
Post yoga, Aish and I followed the scent of raw chocolate to the food stalls! There were so many innovative products to discover and taste test of course. You name it, they had it, from broccoli crisps to cacao and banana houmous. Sounds a little crazy, but the entrepreneurs really inspired me to get more creative with my cooking at home, and their passion for their products was contagious.
After exploring we went in search of some real food. I mean you can’t just eat free samples for lunch right? We found the Mae Deli, a company created by the lovely Deliciously Ella. I was beyond excited to try her plant based creations!
Just feast your eyes on all these pretty colours…
A delicious combination of beetroot quinoa, turmeric cauliflower and lentil salad, pepper and walnut houmous, and charred greens. Literally nothing better than a meal with all the colours of the rainbow. Every dish worked perfectly together but the turmeric cauliflower and lentil salad was my winner for sure. Such a stunning gold and full of warm, aromatic punch.
As if these weren’t beautiful enough, check out the Mae Deli cake selection! Anyone for a brownie?.
In the afternoon it was time for us to soak up some serious inspiration and knowledge bombs. We booked ourselves into talks with some of the best in the business and bagged ourselves a seat in the FROW. I can’t quite explain how blown away I was by their authenticity. It just goes to show that honesty and wearing your heart on your sleeve is a far greater road to success than portraying the “perfect” life which only leads to intimidation and disappointment.
The first talk was led by these vivacious business women…
Melissa Hemsely, Niomi Smart, Madeleine Shaw and Sasha Wilkins made up the glowing panel of well-being warriors, with the girls from Step Up Club leading the discussion. They shared with us the realities of creating their very own brands from scratch. The struggles, the highs, the hilarious anecdotes, and the sheer gratitude they have for their position in the wellness industry today.
One of the key subjects they spoke about was confidence. It was so refreshing to hear powerful women confess to nerves, anxiety and self-doubt. Rather than burying these moments, Sasha in particular spoke of how they pushed her forward, and the desperation with which she began blogging from her home (her car!) in New York, after quitting her job in fashion journalism. Her can do attitude was electric and I left the talk feeling utterly inspired by all these women. Inspired to keep pushing my writing to new limits. Inspired to believe in myself. And inspired, more than ever, to strive towards authenticity in every aspect of my life.
The final talk of the day was led by the Australian wellness superheroes: James Duigan, Shona Vertue, and Sarah Wilson. They spoke of their individual journey’s into the industry and it was fascinating to hear that their fervour for well-being came from some surprisingly dark places. James was once living on the streets, finding meals in the bins behind Starbucks! And the fact that he is brave enough to share this in front of a room full of strangers brings me right back to the power of authenticity.
With sheer love and honesty the Aussie’s also delved into another aspect of the health industry. The negatives! Addressing mental health and the destructive effects of obsession, they fought against the popular crazes of counting macros, measuring body fat percentage and pushing our bodies through Insanity workouts. It’s called insanity for a reason! They busted myths like gluten free – “a slap in the face is gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s good for you” – and shunned low calorie diets and restriction, replacing all this with the motto BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
I feel that so many people brush mental health issues under the carpet so it was incredibly inspiring to see this trio acknowledging the damaging effects of obsession that now come hand in hand with the “health” label. James rightly said that ‘the wellness industry is sicker than it’s ever been’ and it was just so empowering to hear someone else admit this to a room full of passionate, healthy people. There is an awful lot of confusion surrounding the industry today, and it’s up to people like us to bring health and fitness back to its true roots. It’s meant to make you feel strong, energetic and empowered not anxious, obsessive and restricted!
Inspired beyond all expectations Aish and I left the event feeling full of gratitude, having expanded our knowledge and met so many lovely new people.
Thank you so much for organising a beautiful event Good Roots!
Be kind to yourself.
Lots of love,