SFN Expo 2016

Biggest and best! It's been a big build up to SFN for me ever since I was lucky enough to become an ambassador way back in November. It finally rolled around this weekend and what a weekend it was! Now in it's third year, SFN is growing increasingly bigger and better. It's safe to say that organisers Neil and Jamie have their ears open to feedback and use constructive criticism to their advantage. Last year I wished for actual workout opportunities, more goodies in the goodie bags and a better VIP experience. Tick, tick and tick!

My goodie bag was filled with treats (which I'll share on YouTube soon!) and a sectioned off VIP area provided extra seating, a Costa coffee and a meet and greet area - UK's strongest man and deadlift legend Eddie Hall, everyone's girl crush Michelle Lewin and blogging superstar Clean Eating Alice were just some of the famous faces on the schedule.

with USN's superwoman Kerrie Donaghy and SFN organiser Neil

I started off my Saturday at the newly introduced Les Mills Studio with a very sweaty Body Attack class! Having never done a Les Mills workout before, I had no idea what to expect. I read "attack" and thought martial arts/boxing... I have never been more wrong. After an hour of jumping around, trying and failing miserably to keep up with the dancey, Highland fling style moves, I was done! It's safe to say Body Attack is not my cup of tea but I'll keep an open mind for Pump or Combat next year. That's the beauty of an expo - there's always a chance to try something new!

Once I'd recovered from the trauma of Attack, we took some time to browse the stands and see what else was going on. We saw some of the Scottish Throwdown at the Crossfit arena, caught the odd bit of the Strongman Championships, watched in awe of the bodybuilders competing at the UKBFF SFN Classic, and tucked into a tasty lunch from Gold Standard Nutrition, while watching the Parkour guys practise their backflips! I highly recommend the lime and jalapeno sauce from Gold Standard - it was a treat with our pulled beef and sweet potato mash!

This year the expo had a much larger hall in the SECC and there was an even more diverse range of companies filling the space. I browsed the clothes at Lorna Jane and Mirelle, while Gordon made a beeline for burger samples at Speyside Specialties. We had our fair share of samples across the weekend with Oatein and USN coming top of our list! The cookies & cream Protein Delite bars from USN are a must - they look and taste like a proper chocolate bar, unlike  most dry, tasteless protein alternatives!

A friend of  mine gave me Anna Sward's Protein Pow(d)er Cookbook for Christmas last year. I've made a few recipes from it which have always turned out well, so it was only right that we tried out Anna's workshop! An afternoon spent getting messy, elbow deep in peanut butter - the workshop is one of the most fun and interactive parts of the expo! We rustled up a couple batches of protein truffles - some were delicious, some not so much! They're really easy to make and you can add literally anything. I think we need a little practice to get the flavours and textures just right!

Lastly, Anna taught us how to make her infamous Protein Fluff! The recipe is featured in the book but although it's only 3-4 ingredients, I always thought it sounded far too time consuming to make. Wrong! You blend up some frozen fruit and milk with protein powder, add sweetener and whisk until fluffy. To check your fluff is ready, hold the bowl upside down above your head and pray it doesn't fall out!

Massive thank you to Anna & the team for stocking me up with peanut butter and agave syrup - I'll be making truffles for days!

Scott Baptie / Alice Liveing / Jamie Alderton

Like last year, the long and varied list of seminars was a highlight for me. The Sisterhood area was massively improved and played host to a number of talks and events across the weekend - from handstand workshops to HIIT training, jungle workouts and an Axiom posing clinic. All sorts of topics were covered with Beth Trueman and Zoey Wright discussing gut and mental health, inspirational stories from Audrey McIntosh and Clean Eating Alice talking mindset and motivation.

Over on the main stage, Ben Coomber's 25 Reasons You're Not Losing Fat was positive and motivational as usual, and knowledge bombs were dropped left, right and centre when he shared the stage for a Q&A session with experts Jamie Alderton, Scott Baptie, Andy Mckenzie and Phil Graham. I managed to catch Jamie and Scott for a chat beforehand, and was chuffed to meet my future husband favourite podcast hosts in person!

Mindset and balance were a common theme that kept popping up throughout the weekend. Practices more commonly associated with athletes and bodybuilders are filtering into mainstream lifestyles more and more as fitness becomes increasingly popular, thanks to insta fitspo. But guess what - you don't have to go hard or go home! It seems the biggest names in health and fitness are encouraging us to find health and happiness over abs and eating disorders! A change that the industry needs now more than ever, and one that SFN seems to support!

Look out for my SFN haul video on my YouTube channel soon!

SFN Expo has yet again fired me up to continue my fitness "journey". I'm inspired and motivated to push myself and smash my goals in the gym, but also to take a step back. It's time to actually find a balance between my love of food and fear of getting fat, and enjoy fitness as something that brings me sustainable health and happiness!

Roll on SFN 2017!

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