The Healed Life: Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella

What an honour to bring this beautiful (and likely familar!) face to The Healed Life series. Ella Woodward, the woman behind the nutrition and lifestyle blog, Deliciously Ella. I’ve been inspired by her incredible plant based, wholefood recipes and was so excited when she published her first cookbook, Deliciously Ella, earlier this year. Grateful to her for all of her wisdom and for taking the time to share some of her own experiences healing through food. You’re going to love her advice – and the recipe she’s generously sharing from her book. Enjoy!

Name: Ella Woodward

Location: London, UK

Tell us a little about you – who you are, and what you do?

My name is Ella Woodward, I’m 24 and I work in the health world. My job is amazingly varied and I absolutely love it. It started off as a blog, three years ago and now I write books, have an app, teach cooking classes, do talks, hold events and lots of other things!


What is your life mantra?

Peace, love and yoga! And I love all the quotes you see on Instagram at the moment, my latest favourite is “Excuse me, I have to go and be awesome!”

What was the “ah ha” moment that made you get into health and wellbeing?

I was diagnosed with an illness, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, in 2011. The illness broke down my autonomic nervous system and left my stuck in hospital on and off for four months and in bed for six months. One day I realized that I was taking so many drugs and nothing was working, my life wasn’t going anywhere, and I just started researching natural, alternative healing methods and found lots of people who had managed illnesses through food and a healthy lifestyle. I was so inspired by these stories that I decided I had to try and do the same!

If you could give the 15-year-old you one piece of advice, what would it be?

Love yourself! We’re all naturally so hard on ourselves and it’s so important to remember that no one is perfect.

How did you start your career?

I only started the blog to help teach myself how to cook; I never dreamt that it would turn into a career! It’s been a really organic journey with one opportunity leading into the next.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I have no idea, its all very overwhelming right now as there are just so many options! My main goal is just to inspire as many people as I canto embrace healthy living.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated each day?

I’m inspired mostly by my Instagram! So many great bloggers and people on there sharing their amazing ideas, experiences and recipes. Continuing to feel healthy and happy and helping others feel the same keeps me motivated.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

To be myself! There’s no point trying to be anything or anyone that you’re not, you’re awesome just as you are.

What is it that you wish to achieve by entering the health industry – what to you hope to change/improve?

I want to show people that healthy food is so delicious, it’s so much more than bland salads! I hope by getting people excited about a new way of eating that I can help them feel happier and healthier!


How do you bring balance into your life?

I try to work out (spinning, boxing, pilates or yoga) every morning, which really helps me feel balanced. I’ve also tried to stop working at weekends lately, which has made a huge difference.

I harp on an on about minimizing stress in our lives – how do you do it?

Yoga, meditation, a positive outlook and having time away from work.

What is your personal food philosophy?

At the moment I’m eating a mainly plant based diet that focuses on natural foods, leaving out all processed foods, refined sugar, gluten meat, dairy and eggs.

What does a typical day on your plate look like?

I love porridge for breakfast with lots of almond butter and berries plus a green smoothie or juice. For lunch I normally have a bowl of roasted veggies, quinoa, hummus and whatever else is in my fridge! I snack on things like mashed avocado on rice cakes or homemade energy bites and my dream dinner is sweet potato brownies and veggie chili with brown rice.

What is the biggest misconception about nutrition that you come across?

That its boring, expensive and time consuming – it just doesn’t have to be any of those things!

What piece of advice would you give to teenagers struggling with a complicated relationship with food?

When you’re eating lots of healthy nutritious food your body and mind will love you for it and you’ll look and feel great!

How important is our relationship with food?

It’s so important, food is such a central part of our lives so you have to enjoy it and find a way to eat that feels sustainable and fun – I want everyone to enjoy food as much as I do!

What is a favourite recipe when you need to feel truly nourished?

This is one of my favourite recipes in my cookbook – it’s so incredibly delicious and I have to admit that I often get cravings for it! It is super quick and easy to make while the quinoa is cooking you can get started on making the mountains of fresh guacamole, creamy cashew cheese, tomato salsa and garlicky black beans. You will love the amazing mix of intense flavours!

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Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Serves 4

For the cashew cream
2 mugs cashew nuts (400g)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon tamari
salt and pepper

For the quinoa
1 mug quinoa (260g)
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

For the guacamole
4 avocados
6 tomatoes, chopped into tiny pieces
1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and chopped into tiny pieces handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
juice of 3 limes
salt and pepper

For the salsa
3 tomatoes
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

For the black beans
2 x 400g tins black beans
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
olive oil

For the cashew cream
Soak the cashews in a bowl of cold water for 4 hours.

Drain the water that the cashew nuts have been soaking in. Blend the nuts in a food processor with the juice of the lemon, tamari, 1/2 mug (150ml) fresh water, salt and pepper, until smooth and creamy. This may take a couple of minutes.

For the quinoa
Place the quinoa in a sieve and rinse with cold water until the water that comes through is totally clear.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 2 mugs (600ml) boiling water and a little salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Let the quinoa boil for a minute or two, then simmer for another 10–15 minutes, covered, until all the water has been evaporated and the quinoa is fluffy.

For the guacamole
Cut the avocados in half and scoop out their flesh, placing it into a bowl. Use a fork to mash the avocados. Stir the tomato, jalapeño pepper and the coriander into the mashed avocado with the lime juice, salt and pepper.

For the salsa
Slice the tomatoes into quarters, then finely chop these into small squares. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, pour over the lime juice and olive oil and add a little salt and pepper.

For the black beans
Drain the black beans, then pour them into a large saucepan. Add the garlic to the pan, along with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Heat through for a few minutes.

To serve, place the quinoa in the middle of the bowl, then add the cashew cream, black beans, salsa and guacamole around the quinoa.

Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward, out now published by Yellow Kite, £20 © Ella Woodward 2015

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