I found out about #GIRLGAINS through Zanna Van Dijk and I’m extremely happy I did! With another relaxed and friendly event located at The Garden in Hale, I’ve met another group of amazing women, all passionate about leading the healthiest life possible.
The Girl Gains community, for those that don’t know, is headed up by fitness influencers Tally Rye, Zanna Van Dijk and Victoria Spence. It was created to allow women who are passionate about health and fitness, to meet like-minded people and enjoy good food and awesome workouts together.
It can be difficult to keep motivated and on track when you surround yourself with people who aren’t as dedicated to fitness or that don’t really get why you do it. Since attending these events, I’ve met so many people who, like me, have turned to fitness to help with mental health, so it’s amazing to be able to meet all of them and swap stories.
Breakfast at The Garden Hale
I’ve lived in Manchester for about 14 months and I’m still discovering all the amazing little villages that surround it. Hale is somewhere I’d heard of but never actually been to, but there are so many amazing cafes and eateries there dotted around that I’d love to try!
Beth (Girl Gains Manchester ambassador) has hosted a few breakfasts and afternoon teas at The Garden in Hale, but this is the first one I’ve been able to get to. I’d seen endless, beautiful pictures of The Garden’s food on Instagram so I was very excited to give some of it a try.
The Garden isn’t a big place, but it’s a decent size and could accommodate 10 of us all on one table. The thing that stood out most though, was the extremely friendly and welcoming staff! Not only did they genuinely love their products, but they were always happy to have a chat as they checked on you.
The Pitaya Pancake
For breakfast, I tucked into the Pitaya Pancake, a large pancake topped with delicious fresh fruit, pitaya cashew cream and cacao spread. Not only was it packed full of flavour and incredibly luxurious, but it was also gluten-free and vegan!
A large, fairly flat pancake, the texture felt like a hybrid of a traditional American pancake and a classic crepe. Flat but fluffy, this was probably one of the best pancakes I’ve ever had and it was healthy for me!
We definitely had a pink theme going through the entire table and we were greeted by a deliciously refreshing pitaya lemonade, topped with a fresh strawberry and a small, edible flower. With a slight tang, this was an amazingly refreshing way to kick-start the day and was super light, making it the perfect accompaniment with the pancake.
Yes… I also stayed for lunch
We only had until around 11 am, but a few of us hung around a little bit longer chatting away. That’s one of the nicest things about such a relaxed event where you all have a common interest, most of the time you find yourself in the best company!
I loved the food at The Garden Hale so much that we decided to stay and grab some lunch. Again, trying to choose just one thing from the menu was extremely difficult! I wanted to try something I wouldn’t be able to get at any other cafe, so I chose the Immunity Bowl. A bowl full of nutritious ingredients such as turmeric quinoa, roasted squash, kale, avocado and paprika cashew cheese.
Another thing I needed to try before I left was the Flamingo Latte. A latte made with beetroot chai and almond milk, its bright pink colour may put people off, but it is truly delicious! With a sweet flavour and smooth texture, this will definitely be something I’ll be looking to try time and time again.
Making friends and taking names
One of the main reasons I go to these Girl Gains events is to meet people that I can talk freely to. Going to these things on your own is always scary, but the more you do it the less scary it becomes. Especially in this case, as most of the time, I find myself running into the same people every time I go, but also chatting to brand new people that may never have been to an event before.
Since I moved to Manchester, the only people I really hang out with are the people I work with or people that I’ve previously worked with and have moved on. To be able to get out of my comfort zone and meet people through a common interest always feels like a challenge worth taking on.
I’ve travelled on my own and I plan to travel even further in the next year or so, so getting in the practice of speaking to people I don’t know and putting myself out there has vastly improved my social skills and given me some of the best opportunities I’ve ever had.
If you ever get the chance to head to one of these events, especially if they are at The Garden Hale, definitely go! Even if you’re scared to rock up somewhere solo, you’ll soon be chatting away to awesome people and leave with new friends!