• Recipe from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodword. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2015. Photograph © Clare Winfield. Portrait photograph © Tommy Clarke. (Clare Winfield and Tommy Clarke)Source: Clare Winfield and Tommy Clarke
This week in Kitchen Farmacy – our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together, with recipes to nourish the soul and body – we bring you Ella Woodward, reformed sugar monster, adventurous cook, and popular British food blogger at Deliciously Ella.
By
6 Apr 2015 - 11:41 AM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2015 - 12:02 PM

Deliciously Ella is a bright and beautiful blog where thousands of foodies flock every week to soak up the creative and super healthy recipes by Ella Woodward. Initially the blog was Ella’s way of dealing with postural tachycardia syndrome, a relatively rare illness that she was diagnosed with four years ago.

“One day I suddenly got ill, I just woke up feeling awful. My stomach looked like I was pregnant, I was exhausted, had heart palpitations and general hangover feelings,” she tells us. “Over the next four months these symptoms got worse as I went in and out of hospital. No one could figure out what was wrong and at this point I would lose my vision when I stood up, and couldn’t eat anything without pain. Eventually I was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, a chronic illness that affects the autonomic nervous system. I couldn’t regulate my heart rate, circulation, digestion or immune system. I tried conventional medicine for about six months but sadly this didn’t help and I was still bed-ridden most of the time so I decided to heal with food. Overnight I gave up gluten, dairy, refined sugar and meat and started eating a wholefood, plant-based diet, but I didn’t know how to cook or what to eat so I started my blog to record my experiments.” 

 

How are you feeling these days?

Eighteen months after I started eating healthily, which was in September 2013, I was totally healthy again and able to come off all my medication and I’ve felt great ever since! 

 

Your story is incredibly inspiring, who do you look to?

I’m inspired by whatever is around me. To be honest my stomach seems to inspire all creations as everything I cook is based around my cravings! I love sites like Food Gawker and Taste Spotting, as it’s fun to look at thousands of great food photos.

 

Tell us about your new book Deliciously Ella (Hachette, $40, hbk)?

I’m so excited! The book has over a hundred recipes, almost all of which are new and so delicious. I’ve included a couple favourites from the blog – like the sweet potato brownies - and I’ve filled the book with loads of information for anyone looking to eat more plant-based goodness.

 

What's your advice for anyone wanting to make a healthy change?

Start slowly! I was mad and desperate so I gave up sugar, dairy, gluten and meat all at once but I wouldn’t recommend it. Start by adding things in rather than taking them away, like an extra portion of fruit or vegetables to each meal. This way you’ll be adding in so much more goodness across the week but it won’t feel like an overwhelming change and you won’t feel deprived.

Smoothies are another great way to get plants into your body in a delicious way, like the easiest breakfast smoothie from the blog. And don’t feel guilty, just aim for moderation. Enjoy anything and everything you eat, no matter what it is. Food is meant to be fun!

 

What food are you having fun with today?

Every week I fall in love with a new ingredient. At the moment I’m all about turmeric, it’s making me feel great and I’m adding it to everything from soups to curries, stews (here’s my latest mushroom and chickpea stew featuring turmeric), smoothies and even hot drinks!

 

What five ingredients are always in your pantry?

Almond butter, dates, tahini, brown rice and good olive oil.

 

What do friends beg you to make for them?

Every week they have a new favourite recipe but my homemade pure chocolate and energy bites seem to be the winners.

 

 

Deliciously Ella’s top picks

1. Lentil, courgette and mint salad

Recipe from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodword. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2015. Photograph © Clare Winfield.

 

2. Mexican quinoa bowl

Recipe from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodword. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2015. Photograph © Clare Winfield.

 

3. Baked apples with coconut cream

Recipe from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodword. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2015. Photograph © Clare Winfield.

 

4. Classic carrot cake with caramel frosting

Your carrot cake doesn't have to taste like the others.

 

Kitchen Farmacy Editor Kris Franken

 

Kitchen Farmacy is our food lover's blog where good health and great taste come together. Each fortnight we'll feature a health and wellbeing foodie blog, with recipes to nourish the soul and body. Here's to eating well (and satisfying all kinds of cravings). View previous Kitchen Farmacy blog entries.