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Green+Aquamarine: The Health Blog Awards 2016

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Health Blog Awards 2016

Last Friday, I attended the first-ever Health Blog Awards, hosted by the Health Bloggers Community and That Protein at The Collective. In case you missed it on my social media channels, I was totally blown away to find that I was awarded best yoga blog! I was as pleased as punch to be shortlisted and had absolutely no expectations on winning so this has really made me sit up and realise that pursuing yoga and wellness is really what I want to do and so now is the time to really throw myself into developing Green+Aquamarine. Also, I'd like to give a huge well done to everyone else in my category (especially Natasha from Dance Flow Lift who has just become a Sweaty Betty ambassador!) and all the other winners -you can see the full list here. All photos in this post were taken by the talented Marie Claire of Fluke Photography, who was absolutely lovely (as well as being a self-proclaimed happiness ninja!).

Natasha and I got ready for and went to the event together, which was held at the work/living integrated space of The Collective Hub, which is exclusively rented out to young London professionals in the aim of building a like-minded community. Amanzitea, who were the sponsors of the yoga and spirituality awards, kept us all hydrated with healthy mocktails. I started with and elderflower and rose mar-tea-ni with real rose buds and later had a spicy lemon and matcha drink, which really hit the spot. Food was supplied by Soulmate Food and was so flavoursome. I saved my flapjack for the next day on the coach, and since I had run out of time to buy lunch it was a lifesaver!

The whole event was led by the HBC's boss lady Fab, with Zanna Van Dijk, Hazel Wallace,  Pixie Turner and Darlene McCormick as judges. We started with a Q&A session with the judges, which was so helpful for getting those niggling blog tweaks answered. The most interesting suggestion was, when working with brands, is the get an agreement down in writing. I don't think many of us had even considered this, but it came highly recommended to protect yourself and your finances. When the questions were opened up to the audience, I took the opportunity to ask Pixie for her advice on choosing a nutrition course. Her suggestion? Stick with universities, and look for proper accreditation to make sure that your course meets scientific research standards. Pixie kindly spoke to me after in a bit more depth. Other Q&A points included not undervaluing yourself as a blogger when charging fees, and how both Hazel and Zanna have made the move to working with an agency to help them when working with brands.

After a short interlude, we move on to the award ceremony itself. To my slight alarm, the yoga and spirituality award was the first to be called out, judged by Fab herself. Because of the spirituality element, my category was quite varied, with all of the blogs being very individual from each other. When Fab described the winning blog as "having it all" or "covering all bases", I figured it wasn't me as I don't really touch on the spirituality side of things. But when "scientifically-backed" and "speaking about ethical issues" and the environment were mentioned, Tash whispered "It's you!" and the next thing I knew my name was being called out! I had my photos taken with Antonia of Amanzitea, before the rest of the awards were read out. A bonus award for the Health Blogger of the year was unveiled, and the amazing Rachel of Healthy and Psyched won. Rachel (who will forever be the first person to recognise me from my blog!) is the nicest person and has such a professional looking blog and photography style, especially as a new blogger. I was rooting for her and she so deserved to scoop the top award.

After further mingling, sharing of business cards and a cheeky glass of prosecco, we all headed back home. If someone had told me that I would be in a room full of 100 like-minded people, collecting an award and growing as a community of health and wellbeing bloggers, I wouldn't have believed it, even a few months ago. With attendees from as far afield as Denmark, it is truly amazing to be part of such a group of creative and inspiring people. Getting on the coach home certainly brought me back to earth with a bump, but now I am so excited to keep growing and exploring new avenues.

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