McKel (Hill) Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel (Hill) Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

Let me introduce you to Ella Woodward, the voice behind the plant-based food blog Deliciously Ella.

I’m happy to share yet another food blogger on the blog today, Ella from Deliciously Ella. She writes a plant-based food blog with lots of recipes using only whole food ingredients, something I can totally stand behind and she has just released her first cookbook! As much as you all love experimenting with fruits and vegetables, getting excited over eating more whole foods, I have a hunch you’ll love her recipes as well- they’re really easy for everyone to make!

ELLA WOODWARD

Name

Ella Woodward / Deliciously Ella

If someone were to ask you what you “do”, what would you say?

That question is so hard! I do so many different things within the health space. I’ve just published my first book in the US and the UK and it’s been a best seller in both countries, which is madness! I’m currently writing my second two books and also have a best selling app, run a big healthy living blog, run a YouTube channel, do a lot of social media, teach cooking classes, host supper clubs, give talks and do other events. It’s a very exciting but very busy life!

If you can, in two sentences how would you describe your philosophy about food and living well?

I’m all about embracing natural, plant based goodness. I use ingredients that your body loves to make delicious meals that make you look and feel amazing!

 

What’s your favorite quote or mantra you can’t live without?

My mum always used to say ‘you get back what you put in’ – I apply it to every aspect of my life and it helps me push myself and put more energy into everything I do.

What inspires your most?

I’m inspired by anything and everything really! I’m really inspired by the people around me, they probably have the biggest influence on my life. I also adore Instagram and get so much health and happiness inspiration from the community there. 

What does your absolute perfect day look like?

It would be spent with the people I love somewhere warm and sunny with delicious food, some great yoga and lots of laughter.

Now, what’s your actual/typical day look like?

I don’t really have a typical day – every day is so different, which I love as it keeps life so interesting and exciting! I workout almost every day before work, I cook and recipe test a lot and spend a lot of time doing emails and social media but those are the only consistent things in my life.

We all go through challenges, can you tell us how you deal with them, the stress, and any hardships that you encounter?

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love as a career, it’s truly incredible but running your own business does come with its own stress! It can be hard being responsible for so many different aspects of a company and I do sometimes feel quite vulnerable putting myself so out there in the world but all in all it’s amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I find exercise is the best stress management tool for me, it’s the best way to zone out and switch off. I also try to take time away from my phone so that I can focus on the present.

 

What’s your typical meal for…

  • First thing upon waking: I eat breakfast as soon as I wake up, I’m sure a breakfast person! I normally have chia pudding with coconut yoghurt; oatmeal with almond milk, banana and almond butter; avocado toast with lots of lime and chili or a smoothie.
  • Morning: My morning snacks varies so much – it’s normally just a snack I find in the fridge, something like homemade hummus and crackers or dates with almond butter
  • Lunch: I don’t really have a typical lunch as I’m often recipe testing then so I eat whatever I’m making. If that’s not the case though then I’ll an easy mix of leftovers – roasted veggies, quinoa, pesto, avocado etc. I keep it very easy!
  • Supper: I spend the most amount of time on dinner. I really like making warming meals like my coconut thai curry with aubergine, squash and chickpeas cooked in coconut milk with fresh cilantro, ginger, chilli and miso, which I then serve over brown rice.
  • Snacks or sweets: I love my sweet snacks! I always have things like almond and chia energy bites in the fridge to munch on or some cacao and almond butter fudge!
  • Favorite beverage: I mainly drink water and herbal teas throughout the day

If you could pick one food to eat over and over again, what would it be?

There are three things – avocado, hummus and dates. I love all three so much that I couldn’t pick!

What’s the one item that’s always on your grocery/market list?

Avocados and dates!

On Nutrition Stripped we always talk about living whole and well, What are some of your typical…

  • Exercise routines you can’t live without: I do lots of different workouts, I like mixing it up – it helps me stay in shape and never get bored. I spin, go boxing, do yoga, pilates, HIIT training and anything else that anyone recommends from trampolining to arial yoga.
  • Way to decompress from a busy day: a great yoga class or a good sweat then a bath with Epsom salts, essential oils and a trashy magazine!
  • Favorite bedtime ritual: turning my phone off, chatting with my flatmates and then getting cosy in bed

 

Beauty talk, what’s your…

  • Beauty and skin routine look like: I like keeping my routine I really simple. I use all natural products though, which feel great on my skin. I moisturize in the morning, cleanse in the evening and exfoliate a few times a week and that’s about it!
  • Your favorite beauty products: for makeup I love RMS, they’re amazing. I also love Pai skincare and Dr Haushka
  • Your favorite hair care tip: use natural shampoo and conditioner and do a coconut oil hair mask once a week
  • Your ultimate self-care tip: take time for yourself. It’s so important to slow down sometimes and just take an evening for yourself, make a delicious meal, do a facemask, take a relaxing bath, stretch it out and sleep. It does wonders for me! 
  • Your secret (not so secret anymore) beauty tip: use coconut oil for everything! I use it to take my make up off, moisturize my face and body, as a hair mask and in homemade exfoliator!

What makes you laugh, smile, and be joyful?

My friends and family, they’re amazing and I’m so lucky to have them in my life

You have a new cookbook out, what advice can you share from your experience?

Enjoy every moment! My life has felt like a surreal blur over the last few months and I’ve really been trying to spend every day living in the moment, breathing it in and just enjoying it because there’s no point putting so much energy into something that brings you down.

What was your favorite part of developing your cookbook?

I loved the whole process. Testing recipes is so much fun, especially when it means you can make dinner every week for your friends so that they can taste test for you! I really enjoyed writing all the text too, it’s a great process and watching it all come together and then getting the first copy was just incredible.

Favorite recipe from the cookbook?

Either the Thai Coconut Curry that I mentioned earlier, it’s so good! Or the cacao and almond butter fudge, which is just so sweet, gooey and delicious.

 

Saving the big one for last, where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years? Any big plans you want to share!

I’m really not sure where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing! I’m enjoying the spontaneity of life at the moment but I will have another two books out in that time which is very exciting.

So where can everyone keep up with you to learn more?

Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram. Be sure to check out her cookbooks as well! US Cookbook and UK Cookbook

I hope you all love following along with Ella as much as I do and pick up her cookbook!

xx McKel