EAT. MOVE.THRIVE. Wellbeing Festival BIRMINGHAM September 2017
I heard about the Thrive Festival through The Doctors Kitchen (aka Dr Rupy Aujla) on Instagram (@doctors_kitchen) – the power of social media!
As I live in South Leicestershire Birmingham is “on my doorstep” and with no other plans for Sunday 3rd September I booked an early bird ticket. Only £5 with a goodie bag thrown in! What was not to love.
The Thrive Festival promised to be;
“A one day food & wellness festival carefully curated with LOVE to celebrate the very best of wellbeing where you can meet & learn from some of the biggest and most respected names in the wellness industry. Bringing nutritious and delicious fun to the heart of Birmingham.”
The format was a great idea, with a modest entry price and then paying for any speaker sessions you wished to attend, also reasonably priced. An all-in ticket was available too.
The speakers were;
“An exciting and inspirational speaker line up of some of the UK’s foremost influencers in the food, fitness and wellness scene”.
There were indeed a couple of people I really wanted to listen to The Doctors Kitchen GP Dr Rupi (see above) and Laura Thomas – a Registered Nutritionist who I’d know of through her Don’t Salt My Game podcast , a great listen if you interested nutrition, food, eating and wellness. Laura was speaking along with Plant Based Pixie, a plant-based veggie food and lifestyle blogger, scientist and nutritionist (MSc). I booked on to these two sessions.
Other speakers there including Dr Megan Rossi (gut health), Hollie Grant ( Functional Fitness “Strong not Skinny), Mary Lynch (sustainable food policy), Lauren Ames (Business Mentor) and Daniela Lawler (Children’s nutrition). So lots on offer.
Fitness tasters & Wellbeing Markets
In addition to the speakers there was fitness taster sessions including HiiT, hooping, yoga flow, hot pod yoga, physiolates…. There was a great indoor market with local and national wellness brands including handmade chocolate, clothing, cereals, seeds, cake and much, much more. The courtyard street food market was offering coffee, juice bars, matcha lattes and some great foods. A full list and links to contributors can be found here http://thrivefestival.co.uk/
My youngest daughter accompanied me and we arrived as the event opened, sadly it was a bit of cold, damp day but that didn’t spoil the event’s spirit. Although I could have done with an bigger sweatshirt!
Plant Based Pixie and Laura Thomas
At 11.15 we listened to the Plant Based Pixie and Laura Thomas who questioned whether; Has Wellness Made us Healthier? The presentation analysed some of the wellness industry claims and debunked some of the myths. This slide showed why this matters:
Here are some things I took away from this session, most of which I knew but you may not and they stand as a good reminder;
- Products claiming detox benefits – don’t fall for the marketing blurb/scams our kidneys and liver are designed to detox our bodies and do a perfectly good job! Read more here .
- Your body doesn’t know your foods! It doesn’t know if you’re eating a burger or bircher muesli, a doughnut or kale, What you body does know is the chemicals you have nourished it with and how it will process them, some foods being harder to process and having a more taxing effect on the body. Biochemistry!!.
- Gluten free – only people diagnosed medically as coelic really need to be gluten free. Gluten free foods are expensive, low in fibre and deficient in micronutrients and reduce the diversity of gut bacteria http://www.plantbased-pixie.com/dont-go-gluten-free-unless-coelic/ and https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123995-that-faddish-gluten-free-diet-may-be-raising-your-diabetes-risk/
- How expert is your expert Nutritionist? This article explains who are the professionals in the UK to give nutrition and dietetic advice. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/laura-thomas-phd/how-expert-is-your-expert_b_14270310.html
Following this session we had a browse around the Thrive Festival market sampling things like porridge, chocolate, brownies and kombucha. We then headed for the street food for a coffee and some peanut butter on toast with delicious toppings. We only wanted a snack as we had booked on to a yoga session at 13.15.
We joined a Yoga Flow session led by the lovely Sara from www.barefootbirmingham.com it was a great session. My daughter is a complete beginner and I am a regular Yoga with Adriene participant. We both found the session challenging and relaxing in equal measure. My daughter found the benefits of yoga lasting for several days!
The Doctors Kitchen
From the yoga session we were straight into The Doctors Kitchen session with Dr Rupi, a GP with a mission to bring positive food intervention to medicine, aiming to teach GPs more on nutrition, elevate their knowledge and enable their conversations with patients.
Dr Rupi advocates evidence based food and lifestyle medicine (whole foods), here are some of the things I noted;
- Nutrition – Mediterranean style diet with whole foods could be more effective than medication for some conditions. Read some of Rupi’s blogs here
- Inflammation- driving diabetes, depression, chronic illness looking at your lifestyle in terms of food, mindset, sleep and movement could help.
- DNA / genes -research shows that micro nutrient deficiencies (in some cases) will improve assisting the switching on and off of how the genes manifest themselves.
- Lifestyle changes can help reverse chronic disease like type 2 diabetes.
Dr Rupi recommends high fibre, nutrient dense foods and to eat colourful with a plant focused diet. This is not an expensive option – be pragmatic. Shop wisely and use markets.
He also highlighted that sleep is important to good health, in the evening switch the blue light on your phone, have a digital detox 2 hours before you go to bed. Tune in with your circadian rhythm, it works best when you are sleeping well.
Sleep and food are the “winning formula” along with mindfulness and exercise. With the latter Dr Rupi says you need to challenge your body in different ways and there are many different portals to access a variety of exercise options.
The final point made by the Dr Rupi was that although the World is hyper-connected it is also disconnected (not eating around table) not to mention the effect of plastics on our planet and sourcing food more locally. The Doctors Kitchen concluded that science is complex, but the solution is simple: back to basics!
End of the day
We ended our day at the Thrive Festival after this session. We had thoroughly enjoyed our day, would highly recommend the Festival and we will return next year!
Thanks for reading.
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