Having inspired so many to adopt a more plant-powered way of living, it’s safe to say that Ella Mills, founder of Deliciously Ella, has well and truly succeeded at making veggies cool. We caught up with the golden girl of wellness on how she keeps grounded while running a non-stop business, and her favourite ways to stay nourished from the inside out all year long.
- Tell us a little about your story.
My life now was all an accident really. I got very unwell in 2011 when I was at university with a condition called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. The condition affected the functioning of my autonomic nervous system – I struggled to control my heart rate and blood pressure, as well as having digestive issues, chronic fatigue, a host of infections and a selection of other symptoms. I spent a few months in and out of hospital, followed by months and months in bed taking a host of medication, which sadly didn’t work. I hit a real rock bottom, both mentally and physically, about a year later and started to look at other avenues to explore. I became interested in the power of diet and lifestyle and began experimenting with plant-based cooking and really fell in love with veggies. As I started cooking and discovering plant-based cooking I shared my creations on a blog initially, deliciouslyella.com. Somehow that took off, it grew organically but quickly, and transitioned to social media, then an app, then four books, then a deli in London and now four ranges of food products in about 6,000 stores across the country. It’s been quite a whirlwind and every day I become more passionate about what we do.
- How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?
Honestly, I think it’s so key, there have been times where I’ve let it fall by the wayside and it’s amazing how not looking after yourself impacts negatively on everything. Yoga is my day to day go-to, I practice every day at 7am before work and I just love it. An hour of breathing, moving, stretching and opening up does wonders for my physical and mental health. Other than that it’s trying to fit things in where I can, making some delicious to eat, having a bath before bed, walking our dog between meetings or listening to a great podcast on the tube.
- What keeps you feeling balanced on the daily?
Yoga really helps, I’ve never found anything that makes me feel more balanced. I’m so lucky to have my husband too, he’s incredible and just being at home with him, making dinner and watching a great series makes me feel so grounded.
- What element of your work is most lighting you up at the moment?
Our community, that’s always the highlight of Deliciously Ella. Our readers have always been the heartbeat of what we do and knowing that we’re able to support them in some way is just the best. We started a podcast a few months ago and that’s been my favourite way to connect, we can really delve deep into great topics and hopefully share loads of interesting information through our guests.
- Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.
My mum always said, you get back what you put in and I do really believe in that. The more time, love, energy and passion you put into each moment of the day the richer and fuller it’s going to be.
- How do you practice nourishment every day?
I try! Some days it’s easier than others and it’s key not to be too hard on yourself, no two days are the same and that’s ok. I focus on quick, easy things like our instant bircher muesli with almond butter and dried apricots for a two-minute breakfast and love speedy smoothies too when things are super busy.
- What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?
Reading, baths, calming music, a great series, a dog walk, yoga class and time with friends and family.
- Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?
Herbs and spices, I think they make such a big difference when you’re cooking – cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, paprika, ground coriander, cinnamon, ginger and chilli flakes are my faves. Also need great oils and condiments – sesame oil, tamari, miso, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, plus all the nut butters and tahini.
- Matcha or turmeric latte?
Both! Love a matcha first thing and a turmeric in the afternoon