I spent the day on Saturday in Dublin’s lovely Herbert Park at Wellfest, Ireland’s only health, fitness and wellness festival. There was a large selection of exercise classes, workshops and seminars on offer to pick and chose from and I arrived with my highlighted list, knowing exactly what I wanted to do and see.
On arrival, I had spare time to do a reccy of the park and also to scope potential options of later (always a priority for me!). I soon learned that, while the focus on food as fuel and nutrition is very much part of the conversation at Wellfest, the actual food takes a back seat.
There were some interesting Irish companies offering samples of healthy and organic treats and juices, but when it came to lunch time, the choices were quite poor. All the vendors were quite samey, offering basic street food style things like wraps or noodles – nothing exciting. I didn’t see one place offering a nice superfood salad (an obvious gap in the market there). Frankly, the bland chicken fajita wrap I had is not worth mentioning. And don’t get me started on the shockingly bad cup of coffee I got from a vendor called Cocobrew. Saying this, the lack of actual good food didn’t really bother me because there was plenty of other food related fun to be had.
The real star of the show for me was a man who has built his career on sharing how he uses food to fuel his body for fitness, while still really enjoying food. I’m a massive fan and follower of @thebodycoach on instagram, so having the chance to join in one of his famous HIIT workouts was quite exciting. The turnout for this class was massive (Joe Wicks said he had never seen such a big crowd in one place for a workout) and the atmosphere was electric — even doing burpees felt like fun!
What I find really endearing about Joe Wicks is his honesty in his passion for food without being preachy. In a Q&A session with Kathryn Thomas on the day, he spoke about how he indulges in the odd ‘blow-out’ day. When asked about his choice of cinema treats, we all got a laugh when he admitted he sneaks in his tub of ice cream rather that paying those extortionate theatre prices. (Celebs- they’re just like us!)
And like the true fan-girl that I am, I made a bee-line across the park later in the day to the Dubray tent where they were hosting a book signing with Mr Wicks. I waited in line, with my Lean in 15 book in hand (complete with my sticky tabs and hand-written notes) and now his own hand-written autograph is a lovely addition to my favourite cookbook.
Though the actual food I had at Wellfest was nothing to write home about, I was impressed by the Well Food area. The back-to-back schedule of food demos with well known cooks engaging with audience made for a fun atmosphere and really drew in the crowds, I think Supervalu nailed it there.
It was here I ended my day at wellfest on a fun note watching Joe Wicks prepare a Lean in 15 meal with Roz Purcell live-instagramming and recording all the foodie fun and lols. Wellfun!
All photography here is my own, (apart from pic of me and Joe Wicks which a lovely lady took on my phone).