Trying to cut down on gluten or dairy, or ditch processed foods? Meet Ella Woodward, the woman behind popular blog Deliciously Ella, who changed her life after transforming the way she eats.
“I would describe the way I eat as wholefood and plant-based,” says Ella. “It shows you what you can do with those foods in going back to natural, whole ingredients. Nothing in a packet.” Sounds like smart eating to us!
Ella’s Free From Story
This nutritious way of eating has turned Ella’s health around. She has been eating this way for over four years after she was diagnosed with rare illness postural tachycardia syndrome, which caused chronic fatigue, constant headaches and heart palpitations among its symptoms.
She started her blog, Deliciously Ella, to share her journey and has since launched an App, two cookbooks and recently opened the Mae Deli in London. She has also studied nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. Her philosophy is based around foods that “you and your body will love”.
“I jumped right in at the deep end,” says Ella. “I gave up gluten, dairy, animal products, sugar and additives. I am so an all or nothing person. It was a dramatic change and I’m not sure I would advise anyone to do the same.”
Maybe going cold turkey isn’t for everyone, but incorporating some of Ella’s healthy eating principles will have you looking and feeling your best in no time.
We caught up with Ella and asked for her tips to eating better, one step at a time. Keep reading to learn how to eat like Deliciously Ella…
Make small changes
“I’d encourage people to add things into the way they already live, like adding extra vegetables to your meals, so you can get used to that and start enjoying it. It’s all about taking small steps. Some things are easy to swap, like pasta or milk.
“Cook from scratch as much as you can, with fewer packaged foods,” she adds.
Make your own smoothies
DIY smoothies mean you know exactly what’s in them, using fresh ingredients. Juice vegetables, or combine fruit and vegetables for a delicious but nutritious drink.
“Smoothies are really easy to make, they taste good and there are a lot of minerals in there,” says Ella.
Get inspiration from our collection of easy and nutritious smoothie recipes.
Be creative with vegetables
“Sneak in sides of vegetables, but it doesn’t have to be just boiled peas,” says Ella. “Try blending them with chilli and lime. Or roast sweet potato wedges. Add beetroot to hummus for more flavour and a way cooler colour. It doesn’t have to be broccoli. But in order to start eating more vegetables, you have to start buying more vegetables.”
The next time you’re in a health shop, take a look at the pasta types you can get alongside traditional dried pasta, made from wheat. Rice pasta makes a good alternative. “Brown rice pasta is really nice and I think it actually tastes much better than white rice pasta,” says Ella. “If you’re eating it with sauce, it doesn’t taste too different but it’s really different for your body.”
Try dairy-free milk
“Milk is now really easy to swap,” says Ella. “Almond milk and oat milk is available in any major supermarket. Use it as you would normally, and in tea or porridge you can’t tell the difference.”
Don’t sacrifice your sweet fix
“The savoury stuff is more straightforward, but I have always had a sweet tooth and at first I didn’t know how to eat and I used to get the worst cravings and raid my flatmate’s bag of Harribo,” says Ella.
“I always have something sweet in the house, like dates with almond butter as a sweet snack. I make a lot of energy balls packed with superfoods.
“A friend introduced me to dates and I started experimenting with them and blending them. That’s how I came up with my raw brownie recipe. My sweet potato brownie recipe is the most popular recipe on my blog.”
Bake Ella’s chocolate ganache cake this weekend.
Are you interested in Deliciously Ella’s plant-based diet? Find more inspiration with our vegetarian recipes.
If you want to go gluten, sugar or free, but aren’t sure where to start, sign up to our #7Days #FreeFrom gluten, sugar and newsletters. For one week, we’ll send you all the recipes, tips and inspiration you need. Sign up for free here.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.