Health + Fitness

Workout With Celebs For A Good Cause

by Rosie McKay

Carissa Walford, Starlight Ambassador and lead walker for foodie fitness event Meet Me In The Middle shares her fit tips & foodie go-tos...

It sounds too good to be true, a 10km walk with a gourmet picnic at the finish line! But that is exactly what you can expect from fitness foodie event Meet Me In The Middle, kicking off at 10am on Sunday March 26. 

Partnering with The Starlight Children's Foundation for the event, Starlight Foundation ambassadors Hayden Quinn, Carissa Walford, Olivia Phyland and Waratahs player Jed Holloway will lead walkers from four different start points around Sydney. 

All routes weave through Sydney past iconic landmarks such as the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Botanical Gardens, eventually leading to the finish line in the "middle" to enjoy the picnic market where there will be lots of sweet and savoury gourmet treats on offer, including craft beer, boutique wines and spirits,and entertainment too.

We caught up with Carissa Walford to chat all things fitness, food and why her role as Starlight Foundation ambassador is a cause close to her heart.

Take 5 With Carissa Walford
See Need Want Health Carissa Waldorf Fitness Secrets Starlight Foundation
Why did you want to be involved with Meet Me In The Middle?

I love that the event incorporates keeping fit and healthy but balances it with good food!

I also like the competitive element of the event - how all different sides of Sydney are competing against each other and coming together again at the ‘Middle’ – Barangaroo, which is a lovely, scenic spot.

As a proud Starlight ambassador for the last 12 months, I’m also doing it to encourage my own networks to get behind Starlight and fundraise to help sick kids, teens and their families.

Where will you be leading walkers from?

I’ll be representing the East alongside fellow Starlight ambassadors Olivia Phyland and Jed Holloway, starting at Steyne Park at Double Bay.

Why is supporting Starlight and the work that they do a cause close to your heart?

I love kids and have always worked with them on some level including teaching them to sing and dance. I’m a big kid myself so I resonate well with children!

Years ago, my cousin went through a bone marrow transplant, and I remember how amazing and supportive children’s charities were to him and his family. From then I knew I always wanted to work alongside Starlight to help them in any way I could.

How important is fitness to you? What are some of the ways you like to stay fit and healthy?

It's really important for me to include fitness as part of my lifestyle so it doesn't feel like a chore to work out. I'm an ex-professional dancer so I try and keep up my dance classes to keep fit.  I'm also an F45 advocate and I have recently fell in love with Xtend Barre. 

Credit: Image courtesy of Instagram User @carissawalford
Are you are sweet or savoury girl? What will you be looking forward to putting on your plate at the post-walk picnic?  

I have a sweet tooth - I love French toast, pancakes, chocolate and cupcakes!  

I love that people can pre-order picnic hampers at Meet Me In The Middle and some of those packs do include sweet deserts! Perfect for those who don’t have time to prepare their own food but want something nice waiting for their arrival at Barangaroo -  I wouldn’t say no to a hamper!

See Need Want Health Carissa Waldorf Fitness Food Secrets Starlight Foundation Walking Event Picnic Hamper
As a foodie, tell us some of your fave places to eat – can be here in Sydney or one of the many countries you’ve visited.

I love Italian and French food. Felix at The Ivy in Sydney (CBD) is incredible; I feel like I'm dining in France, and I can't go past Fratelli Paradiso in Potts Point.

I'm also a sucker for smashed avocado and acai bowls too! I could probably eat breakfast meals for lunch and dinner because I’m obsessed with eggs!

How do you maintain a good diet and exercise regime when you’re working long hours or travelling a lot for work?

I don't put too much pressure on myself to work out a lot when I'm busy with work because sleep is just as important as fitness. It’s important to let your mind and body physically recover after a big day at work, too.             

During quieter work weeks I always work out more to make up for any time I couldn’t commit to when busy at work.

What are some of your fave fitness apps and / or gadgets?

The Nike+ training app is incredible - it gives you no excuse to not work out because you can follow a training class online, regardless of where you are.

Overall wellbeing is a combination of doing something good for the body and soul - what are some ways you like to “feed your soul”?

I love meditation and practicing stillness. I'm happiest when I can stay grounded. Over the last year, massages have become my vice - they are very soothing for my mind, body and soul. 

Join The Fun At Meet Me In The Middle On Sunday, March 26
See Need Want Health  Fitness Meet Me In The Middle Starlight Foundation Walking Event See Need Want Health Carissa Waldorf Fitness Secrets Starlight Foundation Walking Event

Want to join in the fun and indulge in delicious food too? Here are all the details you need to know about Meet Me in the Middle. Don't forget to pre-order your picnic hamper during registration so it's waiting of you at the finish line

When: 10am, Sunday 26 March 2017


o North Route: Waverton Park, cnr Woolcott Street & Larkin Avenue, Waverton

o South Route: Sydney Park, Sydney Park Rd, St Peters

o East Route: Steyne Park, Cnr William Street & Ocean Avenue, Double Bay

o West Route: Timbrell Park, Five Dock

Tickets available here: http://www.meetmeinthemiddle.c... Get in quick for Super Early Bird discounts

Registration Fees: From $55 for an adult ticket and $180 for family-of-four

Cook With Hayden Quinn

Can't make the event, but still want to support The Starlight Foundation? You can make a gift donation by downloading Hayden Quinn's Halloumi Tomato Salad recipe here

See Need Want Health Starlight Foundation Meet Me In The Middle Walking Event Hayden Quinn High Res

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