Your (awesome) blog, Deliciously Ella, has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years… Did you ever expect it to be so successful?
Not at all, I actually started it as a personal thing and never meant to show it to anyone so it’s really crazy to see how many people read it now!
In your “About Me” section on your blog you mention that a severe illness is what prompted you to start Deliciously Ella. What is Postural Tachycardia Syndrome and how did you overcome it?
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome is a chronic illness that affects the autonomic nervous system, affectively breaking it down so that most systems in your body don’t work as they should – I couldn’t regulate my heart rate, circulation, digestions, immune system etc. 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. It took me eighteen months to feel well again and come off my medication, but it’s really worked!
What do you love most about working in the health and wellbeing industry?
I love absolutely everything about it. I feel so lucky to work in an industry that I truly love and feel so passionate about. I also find that everyone who works in this industry is incredibly kind and supportive, which is amazing too.
If you could recommend one item of kitchen equipment for vegan cooking newbies, what would you suggest getting first?
I would get two items – a blender to make smoothies and a food processor to make awesome desserts, like raw brownies!
What’s your thought process when creating a brand new recipe?
It’s normally based on what I’m craving that day; I just play with ingredients until I find something that I love and that sates that craving.
Does it take a lot of experimenting before you get the finished product?
It really depends, sometimes it’s so quick but other times it takes a little longer. I find that savoury things normally come out well the first time that I try them as you can keep adding flavour as you go, whereas baking is much harder. Either way I always seem to make a lot of mess!
What are your three ingredients you couldn’t live without?
That’s such a hard question, there are so many things that I couldn’t live without but my favourite three ingredients are probably medjool dates, avocados and sweet potatoes – I’m really obsessed with all three.
What’s your favourite way to workout?
I like mixing up my work outs otherwise I get bored, I love yoga, pilates and dance classes though – I find that the time always goes so quickly and I leave feeling amazing. I love walking too so I try to walk as much as I can everyday, I’d much rather leave my house earlier and walk on a nice day rather than taking a crowded tube!
How do you stay motivated to exercise when you’re just having one of those days (or weeks!)?
If I’m honest I’m not always motivated, I think it’s totally normal to have a few days where you loose motivation but then I think it’s just a matter of scheduling in a class that you like and making it important – think of it like a meeting or anything else that you have to do. I find when I then do the class, even if I was dreading it, I feel so much better afterwards and my motivation to work out again comes straight back.
How do you like to refuel after a workout?
In the mornings I love making a big bowl of coconut porridge afterwards with banana and almond butter, it’s my absolute favourite thing! Smoothies are amazing too, I normally blend banana, frozen berries, almond milk, hemp protein, spinach and almond butter for an easy but delicious pick-me-up.
What’s your favourite go-to breakfast at the moment?
I go in phases, at the moment I’m obsessed with overnight oats and bircher muesli with lots of fruit, almond milk, cacao nibs and almond butter but I’m sure I’ll go into a porridge phase soon as we head into autumn.
Describe your dream holiday destination!
Anywhere with sunshine, fresh fruit and coconut water!
What are your top beauty essentials?
Coconut oil, brown sugar and oats! It may sound like a weird combination but I use coconut oil every day to moisturize. Then a couple of times a week I mix it with brown sugar and oats to do a full face and body exfoliating scrub which leaves my skin softer, smoother and fresher than anything I’ve ever bought.
Finally, what do you look for when buying activewear? Do you gravitate towards any particular trends or styles?
Anything with beautiful bright colours, I love working out in things that make me smile when I look at them – gyms are always quite dark places too so it’s great to add some colour to brighten them up!
Check out Ella’s blog (if you haven’t already!) here!
#FITSPO: MADELEINE SHAW