Girl power, goals and gut health – we caught up with Maeve Madden ahead of her upcoming Dublin boot camp
"It is so much fun, and a real family affair!"
Maeve Madden is all set for Maeve's Bootcamp – her second Fitness and Wellness event here in Dublin, with other similar events already in the plans for both Belfast and London.
The Newry-born, London-based fitness blogger admits she knew straight away when she hosted her first boot camp last year that she would have to run another one – soon.
"It was just so much fun, getting to meet all these amazing and fun girls and women from all over the country," she gushes. "It really was the perfect girly day out, we chatted and laughed and I got to meet these women who were just so keen to get into, or get back into, fitness, some of which I feel like I know already, having already interacted with them on social media for months, even years."
Some came to just have a day out with a friend and so something totally different, Madden reckons. Some came to take their workout regime to a new level, and others again were there because they admitted they really just needed to find the confidence again to get back into the gym, some after having had a baby, others having fallen off the fitness bandwagon for a myriad of reasons.
"What was so amazing was that it was a really great mix of ages and fitness levels and aspirations in general at that first boot camp," Madden explains. "And somehow it just clicked and we all, I think, left on a really high, feeling totally empowered and girly and strong!"
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And so it didn't take the 31-year-old long after finishing up her first boot camp to get planning her return to Dublin.
"I love being able to share my experience of fitness and wellness, and connect with other women, helping them feel strong, confident and empowered in themselves. It just gave me the greatest buzz, and I loved the sense of community it created, the women that were there, not only do I hope that I inspired them, but they also really inspired me, it was just the greatest day."
As for pulling together the event, Maeve admits it was a real family affair.
"Oh, everyone was involved," she laughs. "My mum, sister, friends, everyone – from packing the goody bags to helping out on the day, it was all hands on deck!"
Balance, body love and living her best life
Suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS), bloating and digestive issues have played a serious part in Madden's life since her teens.
She often shared both pictures and stories of her struggles with her almost 200.000 Instagram followers, and in 2018, even wrote a book about her health issues, and how a change in diet and lifestyle had made a hugely positive difference.
The fitness influencer is keen to talk about how being fit for her today means taking her of both her mind and her body in equal measure, and that eating good, healthy foods – lots of it – has been the biggest change to how healthy and strong she feels.
"I actually eat a lot more than people probably think I do," she admits. "I love food, and try to eat food that fuels and nourishes my body, and that gives me the energy I need for working out. It is all connected. For years, when I was younger, I didn't eat enough and counted calories and now, when I look back, I wasn't healthy then. Not in my body, and not in how I thought about my body and my health."
Healthy, home-cooked, nutritious food is her game – but if she feels like a treat, Maeve is a firm believer in not denying herself.
"I eat healthily, I work out – if I want to have that burger or piece of chocolate, I will. It is all about balance."
Good gut health
Another thing the 31-year-old has done for her health, that has made a major difference, is starting to really look after her gut health.
"I was abroad with Millie Mackintosh a couple of years ago, and she was taking this probiotic supplement called Symprove, and said it was really amazing and had made a huge difference to her health, and so with my history gut issues, I was so keen to try anything that could help," Maeve explains.
"When we got back to London, I went straight to my local Whole Foods and bought Symprove, and started taking it. It basically is this water-based probiotic drink you take every morning before you ear – one shot of it each morning. I had used for a few weeks, and then I really started noticing a difference. My bloating pretty much disappeared, my skin was suddenly clearer, my digestion was more regular than it had been in years. It was actually incredible, the difference it had made in just a few, short weeks."
Having now taken it daily for over a year, Maeve firmly believes that Symprove has made a massive difference to her own health, and admits she has recommended the supplement to countless friends and family members.
A water-based food supplement, Symprove contains four types of 'good bacteria', which help to balance the 'bad bacteria' which can cause digestive issues, such as, for instance, IBS. A healthy intestine (or biome) will have these good bacteria present already, and all of them are vital for keeping us healthy and breaking down our food.
But the way we live today, with our over-processed diet, use of antibiotics (both directly and also all the traces of antibiotics we consume when we eat meats and other agriculture products), over-disinfection and general stress, means that half of our natural biome is essentially "gone," explains Barry Smith, the creator and brains behind Symprove.
"Put simply, the good bacteria in Symprove stimulates and feeds the host bacteria that's already in our gut; allowing our biome to regenerate and work efficiently again."
Taking care of ALL of you
As part of her Boot Camp, Maeve is hosting a wellness talk, and admits she has become much more aware that health is about not just fitness, but also about your overall wellness and wellbeing.
"Meditation, eating well, resting, having time just for me – it is all part of what being fit and strong means to me today," Maeve explains. "And I want to spread this message at my events too. I want women to walk away feeling happy and healthy and bursting with energy to go live their best and fullest lives."
The Maeve Madden Boot Camp is taking place in Dublin this upcoming Saturday, February 22, 2020.