A couple of years ago, we met Ella Mills here in Venice, California. Beautiful, but unassuming, sweet, but ultra-serious about wellness, we had yet to learn the full scope of the impact she was having on wellness across the pond.
After discovering healing modalities that helped her recover from her own health crisis, Ella went on to share her journey through blogging as Deliciously Ella, cookbooking, and now through the instant sensation of her Mae Deli in London.
Here in L.A., it’s easy for us to forget that the juice bars and hot yoga studios that define our neighborhoods aren’t on every block in the same way around the world. Ella’s hometown of London, as well-known as it is for it’s thriving food culture, is just beginning to have a thriving wellness scene full of quinoa salads and raw date bars, partially due to the riotous success of Ella’s message and other bloggers and entrepreneurs like her who are forging new paths in the classically meat and potatoes culture.
This month, we’re going to be taking a look at wellness through Ella’s eyes, sharing her insights on food, wellness, cooking and natural beauty. If you’re already a fan, you’re going to love her notes with us (like the below!) and if you’re just discovering Ella for the first time, we’re pretty sure you’re going to fall in love as quickly as we did (start here!)
My health journey in a nutshell:
I was diagnosed with a condition that affected my autonomic nervous system. I spent a long time in the hospital and then, a long time in bed taking a lot of medication. When I realized that wasn’t working for me, I started researching how diet and lifestyle could help manage illness and it all went from there.
My food philosophy in one sentence:
Enjoying natural food in abundance. It’s not about labels or specific diets, just about eating lots of beautiful, unprocessed food in a way that feels satisfying and enjoyable. Eating well should never feel like deprivation.
What I wish I knew at the start:
I wish I knew how to cook when I first got started! It took me a while to learn and it definitely made the transition to eating well so much harder, as I’d always relied on eating out and supermarket-ready food. I’d never eaten quinoa, kale or almond milk before so I had so much to learn!
When it comes to business, I wish I could have found confidence in myself a little earlier too; it’s taken a long time for me to see myself as a business woman.
Fave go-to recipes:
I love simple food – warming bowls of oatmeal with almond milk and cinnamon topped with peanut butter and berries; smashed avocado on toasted rye with chili, lemon, arugula and black pepper; warming stews with lots of spices, like turmeric and cumin, coconut milk, garlic and tons of veg, potatoes and beans. When it comes to eating out, I love Middle Eastern food, mainly because they love hummus, tahini and spices as much as I do!
Probably vinyasa yoga, but I also love a good spin class.
London food culture is…
Amazingly varied, which I love – you can eat great food from anywhere in the world here.
Best healthy food option on the go:
Smoothies are great. I love things like frozen banana with spinach, oats, almond butter, almond milk and blueberries – it’s the easiest on-the-go breakfast. Energy balls are also fantastic; I just blend dates and nuts with a mixtures of spices like ginger or cacao – I love having those in the fridge all the time.
3 staples always on my vanity:
Coconut oil, my Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose, Lime & Cucumber Moisturizer (I hate dry skin!) and RMS concealer.
At least once a week I cook…
So many things! I eat lots of porridge, avo toast, quinoa veggie bowls and tons of hummus every week!
If I could give just one piece of health advice, it would be...
Find a way to love yourself. Feeling connected to yourself and being understanding of yourself makes taking care of yourself so much easier and makes you really want to do it.
Current reading list:
I just read the book When Breath Becomes Air, which I thought was incredible – I really recommend it.
Ingredients I always avoid:
I try to avoid refined/processed foods, so any additives, flavorings, stabilizers, etc.
Crazy health idea that actually works:
Coconut oil as the best ever eye make-up remover! So much better than pulling at your eye lashes with a face wipe.
My uniform lately:
Either denim dungarees with a white shirt; gym stuff; or, if I’m trying to look a bit more together, cashmere jumpers with black Acne trousers and my new favorite Stella McCartney shoes.
What I love most about fall:
The food! I really like cold-weather food. It’s so warming and cozy – big veggie stews with brown rice, homemade pesto tossed in brown rice pasta with sautéed broccoli and peas, apple crumbles with lots of cinnamon – so much good stuff!
Not sure… hard to say. There’s always an exception to everything, but I try to just go with the flow, take care of what my body needs each day and enjoy life, rather than getting too stressed by what I eat.
Simplest way to improve health:
Add an extra portion of fruit or veg to each meal. It’s so simple but it gives you an extra 21 portions across a week, which is a lot!
My current mantra:
You get back what you put in – the more love, time and effort you put into anything in your life, the more you’ll get back.