Edinburgh yelpers started 2012 in the healthiest and happiest of ways at January's Elite Event in Real Foods last night. 40 Elite Yelpers and their pals hopped, skipped and jumped down Broughton Street to Real Foods – Edinburgh's independent health food mini-market – for an evening filled with energy balls, kale chips, coconut water, red wine, dark chocolate and a healthy, happy eating talk from Edinburgh personal trainer Tracy Griffen.
But can kale chips, hummus and mushed up dates be delicious? Emily V may well have been asking the same thing. She confessed 'when I first learned that January's Elite Event would focus more on detox and health and less on, well, stuffing my face and drinking, I was concerned. There's a reason I'm never going to get the "gym bunny" badge on Yelp.' Jurgen D, a 'full fledged, bone crunching, marrow eating carnivore' was of a similar mind. But when greeted with a glass of Organic prosecco and the promise of healthy chocolate their fears and thirst were soon quenched.
Kicking things off, Tracy Griffen led a talk on how to eat well and keep your tummy, tastebuds and moods happy throughout the day. Based on her new book, The Healthy Living Year Book, she recommends keeping those foods low-GI, eat a big breakfast, midi-lunch and smaller dinner. Kay L found it refreshing to 'hear someone talk about health, nutrition and feeding your body as opposed to "diet", although Gillian L warns 'Yelp events can brain wash you'. After Tracy’s pepped up power talk she admits ‘So far today I've had porridge for breakfast, salmon and salad for lunch, and turned down a piece of fudge with my coffee at the hairdressers. It's not right!’
Fully informed on the best breakfast (porridge!), snacks (bananas, oatcakes and humus!) and vegetarian proteins, it was time for wine. Sarah gave an informative, fun and delicious talk on Organic wines with a taste of Nero D'Arola, whilst Ben, Real Foods own marketing manager and potentially the happiest person in Edinburgh, kept the yelpers entertained and glowing from the inside out with the healthy chocolate and home-made lentil salad. Yep, that's right: healthy chocolate. Real Foods' in-house chef had created this fudgy, squidgy balls of dates, walnut oil and strong cocoa. 'Gives a new definition to Amaze-balls' chimes Natalie T.
Given full run of the store, and with more tasty samples of raw kale chips, raw cocoa granola, berry juice shots and dark chocolate, the yelpers did something you dont often do at a party: grocery shopping! Emily V was swooning over 'the cheesy crunchy kale. I've decided it must be dipped in butter-infused crack, because man that shiz was good.' And we couldnt have said it better than Lou V: ‘Health food store? Seriously, just call it Happy Store and get it over with. I did not see one person leaving without a massive grin on their face.’
It was Ben who explained at the beginning of the evening that 'health food stores can be for everyone, because health is for everyone.' And we think everyone agrees with Gillian L who asks 'what Ben eats, because he's the cheeriest chap who ever lived!' If there were ever an advocate for healthy eating and real foods, it's Ben; and if there were ever a store to help you start on your way to healthy happiness, it's Real Foods!
The biggest thank you to Ben, Sarah and all the staff at Real Foods for hosting and giving us yelpers the most delicious of healthy treats; to Tracy for her down-to-earth and informative chat; the Real Foods chef for the energy balls, healthy chocolate, lentil salad and kale chips, GoCoCo for the coconut water, WineMerchant for the wine, Pepper Smith for the mints, Berry B for the fruit shots; Tom for the photies; and the yelpers, both old and new, for coming along and making a party of it!
Want to see more photos of some healthy-lookin' yelpers? Right here. And for the happiest reviews ever written, you can read all reviews of the night here. Curious about what Yelp Elite events are all about? Find out more here or message Jenny L. To get involved with the Yelp Elite Parties, get involved with Yelp itself! Write reviews of great local businesses in the Burgh, chat online and meet-up offline with like-minded yelpers and just generally yelp all about it!
Until next time, keep it kale filled and cruncy!
Yelp Edinburgh Community Manager