Thursday, 3 July 2014

Healthy Highlights from Britmums Live

In case you didn't know, sometimes Bloggers crawl out from behind their keyboards and meet up in actual real life! A few weeks ago I too put on a dress (gasp!) and dragged my overpacked suitcase into the City to attend Britmums Live - a two-day conference that celebrates bloggers and serves to inspire them for another year of hard work. While I didn't win the BiB award I'd coveted, I did get to meet friends old and new - and speak to brands and sponsors that are keep to hop aboard the hot mess express that is mummy blogging. And this, dear reader is what I found to make you happier and healthier in the coming year!

Easy to swallow

I can't take another step into this roundup without mentioning a2 Milk - who was my Britmums Live sponsor (which means it gave me some money to cover some of the costs involved in going!). I actually felt quite proud to be sponsored by what I'd call an 'authentic' brand, there's no conflict of interest between me recommending a2 milk and what my blog (or indeed I) stand for - I might have felt different if I'd had to recommend a fizzy drink or fake food for example. But a2 Milk is a natural product that comes from cows that produce milk that contains a different protein than that which has become standard in this country. Since milk containing the a1 protein can cause digestive problems, a2 Milk is just a great way for more people to get back to dairy (and all the nutrition it offers). Loads of other bloggers were keen to try the milk too, so I was happy to direct them to the stand.

If it's good enough for Dannii

I was also keen to visit the Spatone people. I used this iron supplement after I had my first daughter as I was incredibly low in iron (as I was during my pregnancy!), and so was already familiar with the brand. I was rather pleased to see there's now an apple-flavoured water drink that comes in a handy sachet (take one a day!). It literally just tastes like apple juice (good for me, I think I've mentioned before how I'm not keen on the taste of the leafy greens we should all be eating!) - and contains iron plus vitamin C (you need that to be able to absorb the iron). Since something like 90% of women aren't getting enough iron from their diets, which can cause fatigue and weaken your immune system, it makes sense to just gulp this down to top up.

My next nutrition stop was at the Picota Cherry stand - where I could snaffle down some super-sweet cherries! Now classed as a 'super fruit', cherries are an excellent source of antioxidants, potassium, fibre, iron and vitamins E and C. And a cup of cherries contains less than 90 calories. Pop them in a salad with baby spinach leaves, apple and cottage cheese the lady recommended. Don't mind if I do...

More delicious nibbles were available at the Vitamix counter - where a very knowledgeable lady was using this blender (but that term doesn't really do it justice...) to make all sorts of delicious recipes, everything from soups and ice cream - all with amazingly healthy ingredients (some were very well hidden too so the kids would never know!).

Vitamix blender
Mix up your menu with one of these 

The eyes have it

Over at the Boots Opticians stand I met optometrist Victoria O'Connor, whose focus at the show was protecting our eyes from UV damage. We're not just talking about damage sustained when out in full sun either - since 40 per cent of all UV exposure happens when you are not in direct sunlight - with rays reflecting off surfaces such as roads, water and glass. Her advice to properly protect your eyes - and the delicate skin around them - is to look for sunglasses that offer 100 per cent UV protection and meet EU standards. A CE mark shows that they do. A high Eye-Sun Protection Factor (E-SPF) on the product translates to stronger protection from the sun. Boots can also add a 'Protect' or 'Protect Plus' finish to glasses and sunnies to reduce reflection and offer year-round protection.

A further company I was keen to visit was Aveeno - the makers of an oatmeal-based range of skin products. I'm familiar with the brand because it was the only thing that stopped my daughter's eczema when she was younger. While the countless steroid creams and bath additives the GP recommended did nothing, applying the Aveeno cream cleared the itchy rash up - and prevented it from returning. Since then I've been using the moisturiser myself in the hope I too can obtain baby-soft skin!

I was also looking forward to meeting the Run or Dye organisers at Britmums Live. This colourful 5k is new to the UK, and will be hitting the UK in August - with events up and down the country. The course is designed for everyone and all ages - so you (and your family) can run/walk/dance through a shower of safe, eco-friendly, plant-based powdered dye. By the end you look a little bit like you've wandered through a rainbow. I'm planning on taking part in the Oxford race in October if you fancy joining me - and you can get £3 discount if they use the code HEALTHYMUMMY to register for the UK Run or Dye events.

5k fun run
There is such a thing as a 'fun' run

And finally, Britmums Live isn't just about meeting brands and PR people - it's also about mingling with other bloggers - some you know and some you don't. One of the lovely people I met for the first time was Kathryn Grant of Bumps & Grind. As well as blogging, Kathryn is the group leader for the South London branch of PANDAS - a support and advice group for Pre and Postnatal depression. Just learning that 10 to 15 per cent of mothers will experience Postnatal Depression is enough for me to include a little shout out to the great work the group do. Pandas also offers a help line 0843 2898401 if you or anyone you know would like more information and help.

Thanks for reading
For more info on this Barnes Fitness event, please click here.


  1. Wowsers when you put it down on "paper" like that there really were a whole heap of healthy sponsors there :-) xxx

    1. And yet there were times when I felt I was surrounded only by cake and wine! But yes, it was quite impressive that the place wasn't full of junk food - like when we have all those great sporting events sponsored by the golden arches etc!

  2. Ohh I think I met you - we were chatting at the Coca Cola stand? I've been recommending the milk to a school mum whose daughter is allergic to dairy - she'd heard about the milk but wants to know more, so if you have any handy links that would be amazing.

    Lovely to meet you as well!

    1. Hello! Yes, I was the one that got a bit over excited when it came to scoring the goal (shame on me!). The a2 Milk website covers lots, this page link is a good place to start though The milk is quite easily available (Waitrose, Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons, Ocado) so it'd be worth her giving it a try.

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