If you are interested in making the switch to a healthy eating lifestyle, look no further than the food and lifestyle blog Deliciously Ella. Created by Ella Woodward from London, the blog is about a plant-based, gluten-free lifestyle, and is dedicated to showing readers that eating healthy can be just as delicious as not eating healthy. If you had any doubts about that at all, just look at her site — the photos of incredible-looking healthy meals will change your mind almost immediately.
Seriously, this girl knows her stuff. Ella recently released her first cookbook, appropriately titled Deliciously Ella. The book contains more than 100 recipes that will make your mouth water, from dinner options to sweet dessert options. Everything is good for you, and absolutely none of it seems boring.
I got the chance to chat with Ella about how to live a healthy lifestyle, something I've been pretty dedicated to for a while now. Ella is proof that being healthy and eating foods that are good for you doesn't have to be super expensive or time-consuming — and if you don't believe me, just read her tips below. Here are 10 common myths about healthy eating, totally debunked.
Myth #1: You have to spend a lot of money to eat healthy.
Ella says: “Just [keep] it simple: it's so easy when you eat healthy to want to jump into all the superfoods — spirulina and all that kind of stuff — but actually the foundation of a healthy diet is a lot of great vegetables and things like quinoa, which you can get pretty cheap. So, focus on that rather than exotic fruits and superfood powders and that kind of thing."
Myth #2: If you're really busy, you have no time to eat healthy.
Ella says: "On a Sunday, I just take a couple of hours and make a variety of different things. So I’ll roast a big batch of sweet potatoes and carrots and squash or something. I'll make a big thing of quinoa, a big thing of hummus, maybe some pesto. I’ll make sure I've bought some kale, some spinach, some avocado, that kind of stuff. So then if you get home and you’re really tired and you want to eat well, you can just pull these things out of the fridge and mix them together with a couple of fresh vegetables, and within three minutes you've got a good, healthy, proper meal, but you won’t have to cook anything."
Myth #3: Prepping healthy meals is ridiculously complicated.
Ella says: "I do a lot of things like curries and stews. Those are great because they’re pretty easy, and it only takes a couple of minutes more to make double the portion. But then you can put loads of it in the freezer, which means you have lots of ready meals when you come back in."
Myth #4: You have to give up all of your favorite things when eating healthy, like chocolate and hamburgers.
Ella says: "I think if you want a hamburger, you should just go in search of the best burger with organic, grass-fed beef and stuff. Because you can’t replicate it, so I don’t think there’s that much of a point in trying, because the result would just be disappointing. If you want to go for natural, plant-based meals, you should really embrace them for what they are rather than trying to replicate them."
Myth #5: You absolutely cannot have anything sweet when you're eating a plant-based diet.
Ella says: "You can use raw cacao powder and make your own chocolate, or you can buy chocolate using unrefined ingredients, or you can make raw brownies or sweet potato brownies... I think you shouldn't ignore it: if you really want something sweet, you should get something sweet."
Myth #6: Healthy breakfast options are limited.
Ella says: "Smoothies are great. I love oatmeal as well. Or I make chia pudding the night before so that I have it. You know, if you’re running out the door in the morning and you don’t have time to make breakfast, chia pudding is great."
Myth #7: You can't have snacks when eating healthy.
Ella says: "My favorite snack are these almond chia energy balls that are in my book. They’re just dates, nuts, cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, and they’re so good. They’re amazing. You know, at 4 p.m., if you kind of feel like you have an energy slump or you want something sweet, they’re sweet, but they give you great energy. They’re my go-to. I’m also obsessed with hummus, so that’s a great one too. It’s so easy to make and take with you."
Myth #8: When cooking, you have to follow recipes exactly.
Ella says: "I think, honestly, the biggest thing I learned in the kitchen is just not being nervous. You know, it’s so easy to be like 'Oh, I have to follow the recipe perfectly,' but actually, cooking is so much more fun if you just kind of experiment and throw things together and play around a bit."
Myth #9: Switching to a healthy, plant-based, gluten-free diet is miserable.
Ella says: "It can still be delicious! I think people get really worried that if they eat well, it will not be satisfying and they’ll still be hungry all the time, and it won’t taste good... but I think healthy food can taste amazing. It’s just about what you cook and how you cook it. And it doesn't have to be this crazy difficult time-consuming thing, it can be pretty easy too."
Myth #10: Eating healthy means always going to the supermarket.
Ella says: "It sounds so boring, but just be organized. If you have lots of ingredients in your house that you can really make a good meal with, you’re going to be so much more likely to actually make the meal.
"It’s just about not being afraid to be really creative, and try lots of different flavors and textures and just really jump into this. I think it’s important to get a lot of variety if you’re going to do it, so you’re excited about it."
Don't forget to order a copy of Ella's book, Deliciously Ella, as soon as possible!