Featured app: Deliciously Ella

A delicious sensation

In the latest featured app, This AS Life goes ultra healthy courtesy of Internet and cookery sensation Ella Woodward. Hailed as “the food-publishing phenomenon of 2015” by one newspaper article, Ella had the fastest-selling debut cookbook in her native United Kingdom.

Ella’s enthusiasm stems from the health benefits she gained from changing her diet after she was diagnosed with a chronic health condition. Now with cookbooks in the USA and Germany, alongside the blog that started everything in the first place, comes the Deliciously Ella app. Available for a small fee on Android and Apple phones, Ella’s app is the latest phase in her mission to “show how easy and delicious healthy food is.”


What's taken out - and what's going in instead

Some might say she’s set herself quite a challenge, with recipes free of meat, dairy, sugar, gluten, anything processed and all chemicals and additives. Sound a bit intimidating or (dare we say) dull? Ella doesn’t think so – and her app backs her up. 150 recipes for all moods and times of the day, as well as smoothies and juices, detox recipes and – hooray! – desserts too.

Toggling from the ‘list’ to ‘photo’ option brings up a multi-colored mosaic of food options that look healthy and, above all, pretty tasty too. With recipes that are snappy and simple, Ella thinks it’s not about being boring or going without: her portions, although free of a few staples, are generous. Instead, these are recipes to embrace “a healthy way of life.” It’s certainly working for her.


"If I can spread health and happiness with anyone then this is a success"

Something positive from something negative

Ella’s conversion to all things healthy came in 2011, when she was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome – a rare, chronic condition where people’s hearts race when they are standing up. It causes dizziness, sweating and fainting, along with a host of other symptoms.

The condition made Ella miserable, almost constantly bed ridden and unable to lead a normal life. She credits her remarkable change in fortune to her change in lifestyle – 18 months after her change in diet (and exercise), her condition went into remission.


Healthy thinking in AS

Ella’s lifestyle is something, understandably, she wants other people to embrace too: "if I can spread health and happiness with anyone then this is a success!" All of her recipes come with a large side order of positive support, alongside the healthy ingredients. With little previous cooking experience or medical qualifications, it might be easy to be cynical. But even the hardest of hearts would soften to Ella’s constantly upbeat attitude to chronic illness.


For those who want a healthier way to eat (and fancy something less prehistoric than the paleo diet discussed previously) perhaps this might be just the app for you. Just make sure, when it comes to lifestyle changes, you don’t bite off more than you can chew.


Slow but sure

While Ella ditched her old, unhealthy diet and went near-vegan overnight, it’s best to check in with your doctor (or another healthcare professional) before giving your diet such a radical overhaul. While Ella feels she can come off of her meds, hers is a personal story (not to mention a different condition from AS), so it’s again very wise to talk to your doctor before trying anything too radical.

The great thing about apps like this one is their flexibility – and Ella’s is no exception. It’s a slick, clear app that’s lovely to navigate around, letting you cherry pick (no pun intended) the recipes you fancy and see if they work for you – and your AS. As Ella herself says “this is just a guide that you can pick and choose from; it’s just here to inspire you to eat more plants!”

With simple, quick-to-make recipes made from fresh ingredients, there’s little on the app to trouble the most modest chefs. They’re also a great way of getting fresh fruit and vegetables (the cornerstone of any healthy diet) into meals in a more interesting – and fun – way.


This article was written by one of the resident experts at ThisASLife.com. A social site, helping the whole AS community to: Learn. Share. Inspire. Discuss.


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