When I received an email inviting me to this event I wasn’t sure what to expect but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Like most of these things, when you turn up by yourself there’s always that slight anxiety. Will there be anyone else you know there? Will everyone else already know each other? But NaturalCycles got it just right by inviting a variety of bloggers from food to fitness to fashion and everyone got along wonderfully, coming away from the event having made new friends.
We began the day with a ninety minute Ashtanga yoga session with Elinore Burke which was the perfect balance of stretching and relaxation, which I really needed after completing week one of the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide!! The class catered for all levels and Elinore gave easier and more challenging versions of many poses, so that everyone could join in at their own pace.
After yoga, everyone was ready for some food and we were not disappointed! We moved into the next room to be greeted by the most beautifully laid table spread with cushions perfectly aligned, and an amazing array of plant based food, all prepared by Stephanie from Angel’s Belly. It was nice not to be the only person in the room taking hundreds of photos (which so often happens as my friends anxiously wait to start eating in a restaurant whilst I frame my brunch perfectly or stand up to capture that birds eye view of the whole table), as everyone took plenty of time to appreciate all of the work that had gone in to creating such a beautiful setting and cameras were clicking away everywhere.
And then there was the food. Wow. Where to start?! No one knew. So I decided to work logically. Starter, main, dessert… right? The homemade chocolate, coffee and açai almond mylks were to die for. They were heaven in a cup! I tucked into my mylk alongside a bowl of cinnamon granola by Spoon Cereals, which I had seen on many blogs but never tried, teamed with some Coyo and lots of fresh fruit. I then moved on to my ‘main course’ where I tried a little bit of everything. The highlights for me were the sweet potato wedges, the massaged kale salad and the baba ghanoush (because I can’t resist anything Lebanese). The garlic and thyme wedges were some of the best I’ve ever tasted (note to self to try and recreate these from the recipe on the Angel’s Belly site) and the kale salad was perfectly soft with a sweet dressing and slight tang from the pomegranate seeds. And then I just had to try the ‘Rawtella’ on gluten free toast. You would barely know the difference between this and the real stuff, if anything it was much tastier and not so sickly sweet as Nutella! My Livia’s Crumble and bliss ball had to come home with me as I couldn’t manage another bite by this point! But it was the good kind of full, where you know your body has been nourished with all the right things.
After lunch, we sat back down with Gill Day, a naturopathic nutritionist, to talk all things health and the ways in which everything we put into our body can have an effect on this. It was lovely to be part of such an open and engaging group, where people were able to share experiences and advice and ask their own personal questions. Certain health issues can so often be suppressed and difficult to talk about, but this was a room full of trust and no judgement.
We then moved on to speak about NaturalCycles with Eliza, who was so knowledgeable and could answer everyone’s questions. NaturalCycles is an App that can be used to prevent or plan pregnancy naturally without the use of synthetic hormones. With so few forms of contraception on offer that don’t use synthetic hormones, this seemed revolutionary. The App was created based on an algorithm which uses temperature readings to tell you when you are ovulating. The App takes the form of a calendar with ‘green’ or ‘red’ days, based on whether you could or wouldn’t get pregnant. Still skeptical? So was I. However, the app has over 26,000 users worldwide who have used it for over one million days in total, and had not one unwanted pregnancy! In fact, NaturalCycles is 99.9% effective, the same as any other form of contraception which can never be 100% due to so many external factors.
Everyone is unique and has their own reasons for or against using hormonal contraception. However, it is so nice to know that there is another option out there. Eliza spoke about using the app as a way of becoming more in tune with your body and “getting to know your body better”. And this is what I intend to do. I am excited to wake up and take my temperature and say goodbye to hormones my body doesn’t need!