Deliciously Ella on how to achieve wellness from the inside out
A BIT ABOUT ME
At 19, I was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, which increased my heart rate and affected my autonomic nervous system. I took up a whole-foods, plant-based diet to manage the symptoms. Then I launched a blog, an app, cookbooks and two delis.
START WITH WHAT YOU ENJOY
By following rules about what you can and can’t eat, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Enjoy everything you eat. Deliciously Ella is about natural food, not diet or deprivation. A lunch of leaves is not sustainable and it’s not yummy.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
Never tell yourself you’re a bad cook. Stock up on nutritious dried foods. Just throw together a tin of chick peas, tomatoes, spices, garlic, some quinoa and a couple of veg and you’ve got a cheating curry in 10 minutes. Don’t be afraid of trial and error.
Appreciate things for what they are: use a train delay to make that phone call you’ve had no time for (or use a rainy day to read a new novel). Often I feel overwhelmed, but then I stop for a second to breathe and remember how proud I am of what I’ve achieved.
Social media makes it easy to obsess over other people, but stop it. You don’t even know them. By all means use other people as inspiration – I follow 800 people on Instagram and love looking at different food ideas – but if you’re not feeling good about yourself don’t, for example, scroll through profiles of Victoria’s Secret models.
Use social media for stimulus and motivation – it’s a fun way of sharing things – but leave it at that. It’s like a magazine. It’s an edited reality that’s there to give you ideas. Be kind to yourself.
‘When I was sick if you’d ever asked me “One day, will you be grateful for this illness?” I’d have come up with many expletives. That time wasn’t great, but it’s given me all of this in my life now. What I’ve learned has turned a big negative into a positive.’
‘Feeling well is a balance between mental and physical. So although eating a diet rich in fibre, vegetables and fruit is sensible, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of what you enjoy. Equally, remove the things from your life that don’t make you happy.’
Read more: 3 Deliciously Ella recipes you need to try
5 STEPS TO INNER HAPPINESS
It’s a shame how few people in London like to chat. When I take my dog on the Tube he opens up the world.
Find something to help you switch off. I like yoga and spinning because it forces me away from checking emails!
3. NICE AS PIE
Pay that person in the shopping queue a compliment. It’ll make their day and help you feel good.
4. FEEL THE LOVE
Having someone that you really connect to offers a good source of balance in life.
5. GET REAL
When it comes to healthy eating and exercise don’t go for a quick fix. Find a lifestyle that works in the long term. And don’t deny yourself!
Deliciously Ella with Friends is published by Yellow Kite, £25, out now