Me & my #foodbloggerbelly go to bootcamp!

When a friend of mine dropped me a line to say that a friend of hers had recently started a luxury bootcamp business with 5* accommodation and a proper chef and would it be of interest to fit in with my quest to lose the #foodbloggerbelly, I immediately thought yesssss! My last musings on the subject of my (so far) failing diet were that maybe if I went away to a health spa or had all control for my food taken away from me then I would at least have some chance of getting there. So a day was set the following week for me to join them for a day and see what it’s all about.

Chef prepping our breakfast

The night before it suddenly hit home that actually although it’s a luxury bootcamp essentially it is still bootcamp! The nerves seriously kicked in and I didn’t get much sleep before my alarm at 4.30am! I necked a couple of cups of tea, managed to find some semblance of training wear that actually fitted and went off to catch the stupid o clock train to West Calder, via a Wild Bean Coffee shop for an extra blast of caffeine!

smoked salmon & scrambled egg for breakfast! #win

It was still dark at 6.30 when a very chirpy ‘Staff B’ (an RAF trainer) picked me up from the station to take me to a remote farm steading in Lanarkshire where this particular week was based from. I was told that the guests had had their wake up call at 6.15 along with hot water and lemon and that they would all be meeting in the barn at 7am for 20 minutes exercise before breakfast! So far so good, didn’t sound too bad..

I briefly met Caroline and Luke and Gary the Chef and was given a room in one of the cottages to dump my stuff and chill out in between activities so having done that I duly went to the barn, a big covered horse training area) ready for my 20 minutes exercise. An hour later, (it became clear throughout the day, Staff B’s watch was in a very different timezone) and some hardcore ‘Tabata’ (after spending most of it trying not to be ill, it was time for breakfast, yay! and my first chance to get to chat with the guests. On the menu was smoked salmon and scrambled egg with a grilled tomato, water and herbal tea to drink, ideal, a breakfast that I love, and beautifully presented.

yummy Tamari roasted seeds and apple

After breakfast we had time to chill out before the next set of exercises, in fact that was pretty much order of the day, bursts of high and low impact activity broken up with a meal or snack and a short period of respite.

The next set of exercises was the interesting sounding beep test and now the nausea had passed I really enjoyed this one, essentially running up and down the barn to ‘hit’ a beep at each end, the beep getting progressively faster (or the cone moving a little nearer in my case :o) . Interspersed with other exercises  and the obligatory warm up / cool down, I was feeling quite perky after this one.


The snack was Tamari (a healthier soy sauce) roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and half an apple, again well-presented, it seemed like a reward. The seeds were delicious and we were all keen to get the recipe to make at home.

feta & beetroot lettuce wraps

A couple more intense training sessions led us on to lunch and as soon as I walked into the main dining area I spotted the beautifully colourful lettuce wraps with beetroot and feta cheese, a very welcome sight. This was served with a rich, dark Mexican black bean soup!  At this point I was feeling quite buoyed up by the whole experience and was wishing I was on it for the whole week so I could do the build up properly (rather than popping in for one extreme day completely cold like I did) and of course see the results at the end.

Mexican black bean soup (to accompany the wraps) for lunch

After lunch one of the guests kindly invited me back to chill at her cottage and I got to find out a lot more about her experience so far. It sounds like the food and the cottages and the really lovely crew make what is essentially a punishing regime a lot more bearable. As I had already been experiencing there were big lows and highs along the way but when your next meal or snack becomes your entire focus it needs to be good to keep your spirits up and keep you going!

you now have an hour to do 100 of each of these – left & right!

After our lunch break the afternoon sessions consisted of some indoor exercises and some outdoors, running around a field type activities. Including a’ rolling round in a wet and sheep-doo covered field’ session to finish. This was interspersed with a smoothie and finished off with a Thai chicken curry with veg & rice.

healthy smoothies

After supper and before I returned back to real life, there were a couple of evening sessions (thankfully no more exercise) one focused on nutrition, allowing the guests to ask questions and air concerns and look at healthier options to fit in with their lifestyles and the other was about PNF ( proprioceptive muscular facilitation!) stretching.

To summarise, it was intense and emotional. Although I could barely walk for several days later and the memories are still fresh, part of me is thinking that if I’d been there from day one and built myself up to it (rather than going for broke in just one day) then it would be a lot easier and having everything taken out of my hands, surely the results would be impressive!

Thai chicken curry with rice & vegetables for supper

Everyone had been saying it wasn’t like the usual type of boot camp that boasts ex military trainers that search your bags, shout at you and house you in basic/miserable conditions and I have to say if you were planning on going to boot camp then the crew here were great! They were motivational and encouraging and incredibly good at spotting that moment when you’re about to start pussying out and really need it. The location/accommodation were great and the food was excellent, high quality ingredients and well presented – their whole ethos being, just because it’s ‘boot camp’ there’s no reason you shouldn’t have the best quality.

yours truly getting to grips with the assault course

& it works!! My new-found fitness friend Cupcake Girl lost almost 12lbs that week and it has given her that exact kick up the behind I’ve been searching for. Whilst that obviously isn’t a recommended amount of weight to be losing in such a short period of time, as an initial boost to a balanced long-term weight and fitness management programme I see that as pretty damn motivational! (I believe the average weight-loss on the Body Slim programme is 8-10lbs in a week).

Enhance are running another one next week, in a stunning cottage overlooking the sea in East Lothian and perversely I quite fancy going but alas I’m already away that week but am seriously considering signing up for the next detox one they do! (it seems a little easier on the exercise front)

Enhance Body Boot Camp, 0131 564 0234

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