[endimages]If you haven’t heard of London-based blogger Ella Woodward, you are sure to hear about her very soon – her book of recipes launches today in the US! Ella, who initially started her well-known blog Deliciously Ella as a way of dealing with a difficult health diagnosis, is truly inspiring. After trying to treat her illness through traditional medicine without any positive results, she decided to change her approach by drastically changing her then-unhealthy diet– and her results were amazingly positive. I was lucky enough to visit with Ella at her London Yoga Event and learn more about her story.
When did you first realize that you could use food to help heal/manage your illness?
I was researching natural healing and came across Kris Carr and was so inspired by her story so I decided that I would try a natural, plant-based diet too to see if it would help and it did absolute wonders. Within eighteen months of changing my diet I was healed on my chronic illness and felt awesome again!
What types of food did you cut out or substitute & why?
I stopped eating gluten, dairy, meat, refined sugar and processed ingredients. As I started to heal, my body and I began to love the lifestyle so much that I no longer feel I’m cutting anything out – I just love eating natural, plant based foods. Now I focus on lots of fruit, vegetables and grains like brown rice and quinoa, nuts, seeds etc.
What is your absolute favorite food or dish?
It’s so hard to pick just one – I can’t get enough of guacamole, it’s so delicious! So, probably a plate of fresh guacamole with sweet potato wedges… or a big bowl of sweet medjool dates with almond butter.
What are some of your kitchen staples (from seasoning to dishes to appliances, etc)?
I love herbs and spices so I always keep my cupboards filled with them. I use lots of turmeric, cumin, paprika, thyme, basil, oregano and chili, as well. I also have lots of garlic, olive oil, tahini, almond butter and tamari, as I use these all the time! In terms of appliances, I love my blender and food processor! They’re so awesome, as they turn simple ingredients into something much more exciting.
Besides diet changes, are there any other types of holistic approaches you tried or suggest?
I love exercising; I find it does wonders for keeping me balanced and happy. I do lots of yoga, spinning, pilates, boxing and high intensity training to keep it interesting. This way I never get bored.
What is your favorite workout?
I couldn’t pick just one. I love yoga for stretching and boxing or spinning for a sweat. Arial yoga is also a revelation; it’s the most freeing, fun way to move your body.
What inspired you to start your blog, Deliciously Ella?
I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2011 and was put on so much medication, but it really didn’t work – I was still pretty much bed bound. Once I decided to change my diet, I realized that I needed to learn how to cook so I started my blog to do this.
What is your favorite part about having a blog that reaches so many people?
It’s so hard to pick just one thing because I love so many things about it. It’s amazing to be able to turn something that you’re so passionate about into a career and know that it’s helping other people – I feel so lucky.
I’m focusing on staying present & living in the moment this year. Does this resonate with you? If so, what do you do to stay present and aware in your busy life?
Absolutely, it’s something that I’m really trying to work on myself. I’m trying to take some time everyday for myself, whether it’s to work out, attend a yoga class or take a bath – no matter what it is, I try to find something and it really helps me stay happy. I also try to turn off my phone and really switch off during this time, which also works wonders for de-stressing and staying present.
Do you have a motto or mantra you live by? Or a quote that inspires you?
I love the quote, “you get back what you put in.” My mum used to say it to me all the time when I was younger, which drove me mad but it’s actually such a great way of looking at things. The more passion, love and energy you put into something the more you get back, I’ve found that this is true for all aspects of my life from work to friends, relationships to working out.