Given my obsession with food and the amount that I eat, exercise plays a pivotal role in my day to day existence, to the point that I feel guilty if I don’t do some kind of exercise every day. For me, the best bit about working out, other than trying to keep my body lean, is the meal I know I’ve earned afterwards! I was therefore more than happy to support and take part in the ApeFit and What Kitty Made Al Fresco Fitness Brunch a couple of weekends ago in Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park.
I’ve been doing ApeFit since before it was even called ApeFit. What is ApeFit, I hear you ask? It’s an intense outdoor group fitness class set up by fitness extraordinaire Linds Russell. If there’s anyone who’s going to inspire you to get fit and stay fit, it’s Linds. She lives and breathes fitness, is a keen trail runner, crossfitter and everything in between, and she still has time to be an awesome personal trainer whose passion is truly evident in her fun, lively classes.
What Kitty Made is an online bakery set up by Kitty Parkes Poole that specialises in healthy baked goods that are freshly made to order. All of Kitty’s cakes are refined sugar-free and she can also bake gluten-free and dairy-free recipes if required.
Both Linds’ and Kitty’s businesses have a lot in common, so it seemed only natural for the two of them to collaborate and bring us the first ever outdoor workout and healthy picnic brunch in HK. The event had been scheduled to happen in July, but it had to be postponed due to a nearby typhoon and was therefore rescheduled to a scorching hot Saturday morning in August. Over 20 people of all ages and abilities signed up, all eager to get through the workout and enjoy the treats at the end.
Kitty and her husband had created a beautiful display that was there for all to see before we even started the workout. That’s definitely one way to motivate people to exercise! On the menu we had the choice of either a banana and walnut or bacon and Parmesan muffin (both gluten-free), some vegetable frittatas, an apricot and oat granola bar, some mixed berries and some coconut water. Knowing that all of this was waiting for us after the workout kept us going and encouraged us to push ourselves as hard as we could.
Linds is a big supporter of barefoot workouts and encouraged us all to take our shoes off and work out barefoot if we wanted to. I was initially a little reluctant to do this, until I realised that grass is a luxury here in HK and I hadn’t actually felt grass under my feet in a really long time, so I embraced the barefoot workout and loved it!
The workout involved a series of fun games, starting with a ‘burpee game’. During Pharrell Williams’ song Happy, you had to do a burpee every time you heard the word ‘happy.’ As you can imagine, that meant a hell of a lot of burpees. I’m not sure I’m a fan of that song anymore…
There were also team games (my team won most of them, by the way – as you can tell, ApeFit brings out my competitive side!) and circuits designed to work every muscle in the body, including muscles you didn’t even know you had!
Obviously, even though ApeFit is a group workout, it can be scaled to suit each individual, so that everyone pushes themselves as much as they personally can. This means that one person’s workout may be slightly different to another’s, but as long as everyone is doing the best that they can do, everyone wins.
After a fierce game of tug of war, the tough bit of the morning was over and we were ready to enjoy our What Kitty Made brunch boxes.
Having already tried and loved Kitty’s banana and walnut muffins, I opted for the bacon and Parmesan one, which was absolutely divine. I can imagine it being even tastier fresh out of the oven, sliced in half and topped with a poached egg.
Despite using gluten-free flour and no refined sugar, Kitty still manages to get her muffins to be lovely and fluffy and not dry in the slightest. Apparently it has something to do with putting ramekins of water in the oven with the muffins – I might have to try this!
I may or may not have had a second muffin (I had to try the banana one after all… again) and yet I left feeling healthy, happy and ready to face the day. I walked from the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park into Kennedy Town and think that people must have thought I was crazy, as I could not stop smiling all the way there! It was a lovely morning with fun, enthusiastic people and tasty, guilt-free food, all for only $250 per person.
ApeFit runs a number of different classes in different locations. Have a look at the website, find a time and place that suits you and give it a try – the first class is FREE!
For further enquiries, contact Linds Russell on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +852 9231 8015
What Kitty Made’s goodies are baked to order and delivered to your home or office. If you order by 2pm, you can expect your treats to be delivered by 1pm the next working day (or 5pm for outlying islands or NT deliveries). There’s normally a delivery charge, but Kitty is offering FREE DELIVERY for first time orders. Use the code 1TIMER when you check out.
For further enquiries, contact Kitty Parkes Poole on email@example.com
Tel: +852 9706 7071
ApeFit and What Kitty Made might be doing more collaborations in the future, so stay tuned and hope to see you there next time!
PHOTO CREDIT: Apart from a couple of photos that I took myself, most photos were taken by Kitmin Lee.