Sometimes we run across a food blog that is all about the recipe and the process of making food. Other times we focus more on the photography that tells the story of the site or the blogger themselves. We may also love a blog or a blogger because their philosophy about food, health, and wellness is compelling and motivates us to eat (and live) better.
Deliciously Ella is one of those blogs that manages to combine all three characteristics of a great food blog, and for that reason, Ella Woodward is one of the bloggers we love.
In 2011, Ella was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, a chronic illness with symptoms that include chronic pain, heart palpitations, and gastrointestinal issues. Woodward worked with traditional treatment methods and found that she was not getting much relief from symptoms. The relief she did get was temporary and unpredictable, and she felt herself sinking, physically and mentally.
After doing some research on holistic health and wellness, Woodward made a major diet change. She eliminated gluten, meat, processed food, sugar, dairy, and anything with additives or preservatives. This was not an easy switch, especially considering that her previous diet consisted of “Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Chocolate, peanut butter and jelly eaten with a spoon, pick-n-mix and lots of cereal and pasta – I was a sugar monster!”
Deliciously Ella is a direct result of these changes. The blog’s tagline is “Love Your Life, Love Yourself, Love Your Food,” and Ella offers ways to do all three.
The recipes are divided into categories, including Ingredients, Smoothies & Juices, Breakfast, Snacks, Salads, Mains, Sweet Treats, and Dips & Spreads. Clicking on the Ingredients tab, you will find even more recipes specifically for fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, nuts and seeds, and superfoods. Clicking on “chickpeas” under grains and legumes takes you to a page that gives a little information on the taste, texture, and health benefits of chickpeas before linking to four easy recipes that use this versatile and protein-packed legume.
One of our favorite recipes from the blog is one that features an ingredient that can be tricky: Brussels sprouts. These nutritional powerhouses get a delicious sweet/salty/tart treatment with maple syrup and pomegranate. The spicy chili flakes give chronic pain patients a quick hit of capsaicin, a natural inflammation-fighting spice, and the potatoes in the recipe include magnesium, a vital mineral that is often lacking in the diet of most in the U.S.
But the information doesn’t stop at food.
Every Monday, Woodward posts a blog called “Monday Inspiration.” These short blogs usually feature an inspirational quote and deal with a challenge in Woodward’s life or in the world. Those suffering from any type of chronic illness will appreciate her candor in talking about her condition. They will also be inspired by her continued focus on the positive aspects of life and her unwillingness to let her medical condition shade the good things in her life.
Because the blog’s mission is also to make dietary changes simple, one of the most valuable pages is the “Advice” page. Here, Woodward focuses on developing the confidence and practical skills you need in the kitchen to make these changes. To wit, her blog about overcoming your fear in the kitchen. In it, she discusses three simple rules to enjoy cooking:
- Know that it really can’t go that wrong
- Adapt recipes to suit your taste
- Make time
There is nothing in this blog that isn’t encouraging and empowering.
Deliciously Ella touches on fitness with a focus on running and yoga for health, with a sprinkling of weight lifting thrown in for good measure.
Woodward has also published two books: Deliciously Ella and Deliciously Ella Every Day (due out in early 2016). Deliciously Ella Every Day focuses on simple meals, packed lunches, and gluten-free snacks. These three categories alone can help time-strapped families to incorporate better eating easily into their day.
Woodward is active on social media, with Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts to stay in touch and accessible for her readers, no matter what platform they prefer. This accessibility is just another way that Woodward really connects the dots for her audience. Healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult, and Woodward’s goal is to help ease people into a whole-life transformation that focuses on not what’s left out but what is added in:
“Everything here will nurture and love your body, leaving you feeling incredible. This way of eating is absolutely not about deprivation and starvation but instead it’s about embracing a positive, healthy way of life!”
Woodward is based in the UK, but her recipes use both standard U.S. measurements (e.g., cups) and weights (grams and ounces).
Ella Woodward’s mission is simple: to show readers how they can change their lives through diet without complicated recipes, techniques, or philosophies. In her own words:
“I’d never have believed that I could come this far simply through diet; it is just incredible – better than any drug ever. I’ve learnt more on this health adventure than I could have possibly imagined too and I really want to share all of this information with you. It’s my way of turning something negative into something really positive. If I can spread health and happiness with anyone then this is a success!”
What changes in your diet can you make today to start healing your body?