An Evening with Ella Woodward: The Launch of ‘Deliciously Ella Every Day’.
Last Thursday evening I headed to St. James’ Church, Piccadilly to attend a special and intimate event, hosted by Waterstones, celebrating the release of Ella Woodward‘s second book, Deliciously Ella Every Day. I was first introduced to Ella’s recipes by my sister (thenotsoplainjayne) last Summer and I instantly fell in love with her instagram, blog and first book Deliciously Ella.
If you haven’t yet heard of Ella, then you have been living under a rock; her story is truly inspiring for any foodie, blogger or human in general. In January 2012, Ella adopted a plant-based lifestyle pretty much overnight in an attempt to cure a rare, chronic illness called postural tachycardia syndrome, and within 18 months she had reversed the effects of her illness enough to come off her medication. On Thursday night she told the inspirational story of how she built her business from her bed; “I thought there had to be more to life than watching the Kardashians”.
Ella admits that when she made the switch to a plant-based lifestyle she didn’t know the first thing about cooking, up until that point in her life she had lived off of “pesto pasta and Haribo”; so in order to keep herself motivated and stop herself from falling into a “food-rut” she started her blog Deliciously Ella, where she shared her food adventures. She credits Kris Carr and her book Crazy Sexy Diet as her inspiration for when she set out to write her own book.
“I’m an all-or-nothing person, everyone who knows me, knows that about me”; Ella went from culinary failure to food guru in a few months, although it wasn’t with out a few hiccups; “The first proper recipe I tried was raw brownies. I was so excited because I had just bought my first food processor, I couldn’t wait to take them out of the freezer to try. I let a friend try the first piece, he spat it straight out, I then realised I hadn’t taken the plastic off the blade in the food processor and I had created this blended mangle of dates and plastic!”.
Ella and her fiancé recently opened their own deli, Mae Deli, in London, an accomplishment that she seemed very proud of, yet humble about “we’ve been doing everything, even scrubbing out the toilets”. In fact Ella remains incredibly humble about all her success so far, laughing about how this time last year she wondered with her mother if she would even sell 100 copies of her first book, or that if her app could just knock off number 200 on the best selling cookery apps in the App Store, she would be happy; both went to number one in record breaking time.
Ella’s new book, as is evident from the title, is all about how to adapt the ‘Deliciously Ella Philosophy’ to every day life. The recipes in this book require less equipment and are designed for the people who live busy work lives, have families or just want to live healthier but don’t know where to start. Something else that Ella wanted to incorporate into the book were recipes that you can share with friends and family when they come over, food that “looks familiar”, is quick and easy to make and will make you seem less crazy to your non-veggie friends and family.
According to Ella, living like this is not just for those who have extra cash flow; the ingredients she uses in the book are purposefully chosen and repeat throughout the book (think lots of sweet potato and avocado), because they are mostly inexpensive and available at pretty much any supermarket, so you won’t have to save up for a trip to Wholefoods in order to use this book. But shouldn’t we all be buying organic everything? Not according to Ella, “I try to stick to the dirty dozen when buying organic, as these are the fruits and veg that tend to absorb the most pesticides” (that would be apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes and jalapeño peppers) “however I still think it’s better to eat spinach, than not eat it just because it’s not organic”. As for issues with protein on a plant-based diet, Ella doesn’t have any, she just recommends plenty of almonds, hemp seed, legumes, and chickpeas!
Deliciously Ella Every Day is available to buy now in store or online. Its launches in the States and Canada in April 2016.