. Q&A WITH DELICIOUSLY ELLA – 5 THINGS I LEARNT .
Earlier this week I attended a fabulous Q&A & got to meet the lovely Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella, the event was hosted by Shoreditch house and was a little brunch, a brief introduction by Ella to her blog and lifestyle, followed by an open floor Q&A. It was a intimate event which meant we really got to chat with Ella and ask her any questions we had about her lifestyle, career plans and her blog success. I personally asked a couple of questions, one more related to her lifestyle & the transition she went through, but also one more about her blog success and the journey she’s been on. The session was so insightful that I actually thought i’d share a few of the things I learnt and the tips Ella gave us in a series of posts, firstly today, with 5 of the lifestyle tips she shared with us, and secondly on Saturday I’m going to share some of the things I took from the Q&A relating to blogging and the commercial side of things.
Ella has made such a success of her blog & really pushed the agenda of healthy eating & healthy living here in the UK that it was a great to meet her, understand more about her lifestyle and way of living & just generally get inspired to kick start my own lifestyle a little. Whilst there were tons of things discussed, in terms of healthy living, there were 5 things I really took out of the Q&A which i wanted to share today.
5 LIFESTYLE TIPS FROM DELICIOUSLY ELLA
#1 It’s not just what goes into your mouth …
One thing I really took from the session was that Ella’s lifestyle isn’t just about what she eats, it’s about her entire being & wellness. From regular exercise (spinning at 630am in the morning & regular yoga) to the products she uses for her body, skincare, hair care & even makeup. I actually hadn’t thought about this side of things, of course i’ve taken inspiration and advice from her on what I eat, how I prepare food and the ingredients that go into my dishes, but it was also really interesting to hear about how she transformed her whole lifestyle into one of natural products, removing any impurities from her routine.
Ella mentioned a couple of brands she likes for skincare and haircare, as well as a store which she regularly visits to pick up her favourite products, called Content Beauty in Marylebone.
#2 Don’t be conned by ready made alternatives …
Whilst the UK’s shift and fascination with health and wellbeing is definitely a brilliant movement & one which was well needed (Ella talked about how great the increased attention to health and wellbeing was), as a result, a lot of mass supermarket or food brands have jumped on the bandwagon and now sell ready made gluten / wheat / dairy free alternatives, but Ella discussed how these actually aren’t quite as good as what they say on the packet.
The increased attention has made the market for healthy goods much more pertinent, but Ella shared her concern for people going for the quick and easy ready made solutions, given they’re actually not quite as good as they sound. From pre prepared juices and gluten free produce, to ‘healthy’ natural cereal bars … she very much advocates avoiding these and making your own alternatives, not just because it’s cheaper, but because it’s healthier too (ready made products are still jampacked with refined goods & ingredients which simply aren’t good for you).
#3 Healthy eating can be cheaper …
There’s clearly a massive preconception that living a super healthy lifestyle, eating naturally and going for organic produce comes with a gigantic price tag. But Ella spoke very passionately about how this lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive, and in fact can be far cheaper than buying ‘standard’ products and ready made alternatives, an example being the cost of making your own oat milk and the 20p versus £1+ price tags!
Ella’s top tip for keeping costs down was simple, buy in bulk. She recommended Amazon as her first port of call to stock up on all her whole food products as it’s so much cheaper than picking up smaller size products in the local supermarket or whole food dealers.
Her other tip which overall will help keep costs down is of course to be as organised as you can. Ella’s recommendation was to use Sunday’s to stock up on food (she makes a weekly Ocado order) & also to prepare as much as possible for the week ahead, not only to make things as easy as possible for you to keep up the healthy eating but also to ensure you have everything you need in your cupboards & don’t need to do expensive last minute purchases in your local store where everything comes at a premium.
#4 Make social situations work for you …
Ella’s vegan lifestyle is clearly far easier to stick to when you’re at home & living your day to day routine, but can be trickier when you’re busy, attending lot’s of social events and even more so in a new country or travelling and so have less healthy food readily available.
Ella talked candidly about the challenges she’s faced with people judging her no alcohol lifestyle and also the awkwardness of having to challenge menu’s in restaurants on social occasions. But with three years of experience of this lifestyle under her belt she had some top tips to help deal with this.
Firstly, don’t succumb to peer pressure, if you don’t want to drink then stand firm by your decision & be comfortable saying no, people that aren’t willing to accept this are ultimately those with the issues. Secondly, in restaurants, grab the waiter away from your table when you arrive at the restaurant and explain one on one your dietary requirements, and ask the waiter and chefs for their advice on what you can eat (her back up is to simply order a whole selection of sides – avocado, sweet potato fries, side salads etc). Thirdly, pre prepare as much as you can, the key thing I took from Ella regarding her lifestyle is that organisation is the real trick to mastering this way of living. Research, prepare your own food, carry healthy snacks on you & generally just ensure you’re never left stuck with no healthy food options.
As the demand for natural eating increases, so has the supply, there are now tons of healthy cafes, restaurants, brands & suppliers who make the whole lifestyle far easier to adapt to (Ella mentioned how much easier it is now, versus 3 years ago to find the ingredients & products she needs, and how much easier it is to eat out or on the go).
#5 Find what works for you …
One of my questions to Ella was about her transition into this lifestyle, for Ella (given her illness) it was an overnight shift (which she doesn’t recommend giving how much of an adjustment it actually is) but overall something she believes took her three months to fully embrace (to the point where she no longer found haribo or processed foods appealing).
Her recommendation for embracing this lifestyle was actually really refreshing, and realistic. It was simply to find out what works for you, and gradually start to embrace natural foods, healthy living & ultimately vegetables!
Her mentality around vegan living is that it’s about ‘adding’ to your life, and absolutely not about taking away (despite the fact that ultimately you will cut things like meat, alcohol, refined food & dairy out of your diet). This mentality was a really positive way of thinking about healthy living, and is important in ensuring that people don’t see this way of living as a diet or a fad, it’s about making healthier choices and eating clean.
Ella’s tips were to start by gradually introducing and adding new things into your lifestyle (the concept of adding, not cutting, as mentioned helps keep things positive and not too restrictive), a smoothie or juice in the morning, perhaps a healthy dinner once a week, or a superfood pack lunch in the week. I think her ambition is really admirable, but also realistic given how much this lifestyle takes to live in full, it’s not a take it or leave it concept, even a small change or shift towards healthy living is a positive one.
I personally very much took this feedback on board. I don’t want to give up fish or alcohol, but I do want to juice, eat naturally, cut gluten, take up yoga & increase my ‘super food’ intake, so knowing that just embracing 50% of the lifestyle is better than nothing was reassuring and motivational!
I found the Q&A really inspiring overall and Ella was a super lovely (and seriously beautiful) person, very articulate, confident and clearly very knowledgeable and passionate about this way of living. She talked with such passion and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but leave feeling inspired and motivated to live better. The success of her book is a real credit to her hard work & passion, and if you haven’t already bought it then I seriously recommend picking it up (you can buy it here) :)
I was also utterly inspired by the success of her blog, her book, app & general brand (which is really growing at an exceptional rate, to the point where she now has an office & three team members supporting her) that I am going to do another post on Saturday with her tips, journey & key things I learnt from chatting to her about this – so make sure you stay tuned.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on Ella’s way of living & whether you’ve tried any of her recipes or tips. Also of course, I hope you found this kind of post interesting :)