As some of you might have seen from my Facebook post, I was at the Goodroots festival in London on Saturday. I was pretty excited about this festival as many of my favourite healthy bloggers were attending – such as Madeleine Shaw, Deliciously Ella and Livia’s Kitchen – making it a great opportunity to meet them and hear about their personal experiences.

I arrived at the festival around half 9 in the morning, pretty satisfied with myself that I had firstly found it, and beaten the crowds. One of the first stands I spotted was the iconic Mae Deli, with Ella herself standing outside. I wasn’t sure what she would be like in person, after all she has been named one of the UK’s most influential people in food, and with close to one million followers on Instagram from all over the world, it’s safe to say she’s a big deal! I was pleasantly surprised when she walked up to me and welcomed me, modestly asking me if I had heard of the Mae Deli and what it was all about (what healthy foodie hasn’t?). She was so approachable and friendly, and showed a real interest in me as an individual. I told her about my experience at the Mae deli, she asked me what I ordered and what I thought of the foods, then going on to ask if I had breakfast and like any other entrepreneur, showing me what the Mae deli stand had to offer- but in a completely non-pushy way that I didn’t feel like I was obliged to buy anything. Although given that it was a lovely sunny morning, I was already bought over by the colourful smoothies so a berry and coconut smoothie was a must. As I was purchasing, Ella was speaking to another fan that had come along, but made a conscious effort to come back and ask for my opinion on the smoothie. As first impressions go, she has definitely won me over!

What I love most about festivals is discovering new products and brands, especially the sampling part. It wasn’t all food either, there was clothing and book stalls, all health related of course, and skincare. One stall in particular that caught my attention was NK Naturals, a premium handmade skincare range made in Lanzarote. I love meeting people who are so passionate about their products and finding out about the philosophy behind their business which for NK Naturals came from the founder having very sensitive skin prone to severe eczema outbreaks. This is something I could massively relate to, I had a severe eczema outbreak during my first year at uni, it was awful and took quite a bit of time before I managed to get an appointment to see a dermatologist and get the correct steroid creams prescribed. It still comes back from time to time, and I really hate using medication, so I was intrigued to hear about a more natural product that would help avoid or manage my eczema. Their range of products is so versatile, in particular the product I purchased ‘it’s delicate’ can be used as a moisturiser or as a makeup remover. It is specifically designed for super sensitive skin, made from calming ingredients – coconut oil, lavender, blue chamomile, palmarosa and artic oat. I can’t wait to try it out!

Wanting to make the most of my festival trip, I had purchased tickets to a talk with Deliciously Ella and Livia’s Kitchen, where they spoke about what motivated them to embrace healthy eating as a lifestyle, and ultimately set up their business. I must admit, I did get slightly distracted half way through when the PowerPoint behind them, flicking through images of dishes, flashed up my snap of Livia’s Snickers Slabs I posted a few weeks ago. I scrambled for my phone to snap a photo- pretty sure the woman beside me thought I was a little crazy at the time but I explained to her after and even she was like wow how cool! It’s my mini claim to fame- if you can even call it that! As health bloggers go, I must say Ella and Olivia were very honest about their experiences, their challenges getting their business to market and helpful hints and tips on how to run social media accounts- thanks girls!

Another talk I was keen to attend was Madeleine Shaw’s. She was the first health food blogger I followed on Instagram, just over a year ago, and definitely inspired me to try out healthier recipes. From there I experimented with more of her recipes, and other health food blogger recipes, then going on to experiment with many of my own combinations. Madeleine focused her talk around her three pillars of health – Move, Munch and Meditate. She stressed the importance of making time to move, whether it’s being a gym bunny or going for a walk, just making time to exercise. Secondly, munch- which is most definitely my favourite- focused on the obvious, food. Madeleine addressed the misconception associated with fat free products, emphasising the importance of purchasing full fat yoghurts and cheeses etc. I think the name full fat is a massive misconception- it’s not like manufacturers have pumped fat into the products, it’s simply the products in their natural form. Whereas in fat free products manufacturers are stripping out only to replace it with sugar or additives to retain a flavour. Finally Madeleine spoke about meditation, which for her is yoga, but ultimately it’s about taking time to clear your mind of work and everyday life stresses. I’ve done a couple of pilates sessions which I thoroughly enjoyed, and something I would like to commit to on a more regular basis. Madeleine also took questions at the end, of which I took the opportunity to ask her what’s next, she released her second book two months ago and is currently working on her third book, and making time to practise what she’s preaches- move, munch, meditate!

The one thing that stood out for me from all talks was that social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, give us such a perception that these health food bloggers lead a perfectly healthy lifestyle and never step out of line. I think that so many people compare themselves to this (myself included), so when we do indulge and have a slice of cake or a takeaway we tend to guilt trip ourselves or feel like we have failed to embrace a ‘healthy lifestyle’, which completely ruins the enjoyment of the experience. Listening to Ella and Olivia, and later to Madeleine Shaw, they stressed the importance of balance. All bloggers emphasised the importance of listening to your body, eating healthy but also allowing yourself to have a treat, whether it’s going out for dinner, having that dessert or going down to the pub for a few drinks. I firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, which means different things to different people but if you can work out what balance means for you then you’ve pretty much cracked it!