Ella WoodwardElla Woodward, photo by Issy Croker

It all started with those sweet potato brownies. Many would call Ella Woodward one of the most important faces of the contemporary health movement, and when you track her short but surging career over the last three years, it’s hard not to agree.

You know the story; after a rare illness left her searching for cures, Ella began educating herself about the ins and outs of the foods she was eating. After dropping sugar, gluten and meat (amongst many other things) Ella recovered and began sharing her eating habits and recipes through her blog, Deliciously Ella. The rest is history.

Magazine covers, supperclubs, yoga brunches, cooking classes, television appearances, a bestselling app, number one bestselling book and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers later, Ella Woodward is one of the most recognisable faces on the food scene. Her popularity has blurred the line between health food and everyday eating, fuelling a public interest in everything both clean and cleansing.

I do think that people want to eat better now

“If you’d asked me a year ago, I would have said that the wellness world was the outsider of the food industry. But that’s really changing,” Ella tells us, almond milk in-hand. “It’s not that everyone wants to become these health freaks 100 per cent of the time, but I do think that people want to eat better now. That’s why people are so responsive to what we do.”

Her first book, Deliciously Ella, was released in January, soaring to number one on the UK book charts in a matter of a few ashtanga breaths. The book offers recipes focused on natural, sugar-free, dairy-free, meat-free, chemical-free, additive-free ingredients. Sound fun-free? It’s actually not. Her cooking manages to stay colourful, flavourful and satisfying in the face of all this abstinence. Which probably explains her wild success.

But it’s not all chia seeds and nut butters. Aside from the “freaky health stuff” Ella is at work educating the public about simple dietary choices. “If people want to make the change, it’s got to be easy,” Ella explains. “It doesn’t have to be intimidating or far-fetched. I hope that as the conversation continues about healthy eating, people start moving away from complicated superfoods and focus more on easy, truly healthy food.”

Her new book, Deliciously Ella Every Day, will be released in January 2016. “It’s about everyday eating. To make the change, you have to be realistic. The book’s about trying to make it work in everyday life,” Ella tells us. But should we all be eating like her? “Everyone would do better with less gluten, less dairy and less refined sugar,” Ella says. “But my choices are my choices. All I want to do is help change the way people view food. I want to make it so that when people think of healthy food, they just think of things that taste good.”

After three years, Deliciously Ella is still at the helm of the wellness world; a circle that is making waves across London and beyond. Her success has marked a change in the way we look at food.

“The public interest has been amazing. It shows that what we’re doing is important. And everyone has the same message: let’s eat well!” Ella says. “It works better as a group because we all seem less mad that way. It’s not just one crazy health freak in the corner saying ‘I think kale’s great!’ There’s a much stronger message when there are more people at work.”

More at thecuriouspear.com

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