In September 2011, Ella Woodward was diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS), a rare condition that left her in chronic pain, sleeping 16 hours a day and unable to walk down the street.
When conventional medicine failed to cure her symptoms, she decided to completely overhaul her diet and gave up meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and all processed food. The results were overwhelming - she was able to take control of her illness, the pain disappeared and she got her life back on track.
In May 2012, she set up her own food blog (deliciouslyella.com) to document her new attitude to food and healthy living.
Fast-forward to the present day and her blog has had more than 17million hits. She has more than 250,000 Instagram followers, has had 70,000 downloads of her app and has 420,000 YouTube subscribers.
Her eagerly-anticipated cookbook hit shelves on February 2014 and, since it was announced last year, has been reprinted six times due to popular demand.
It's hard to remember that she's just 23 years old.
To celebrate the launch of her new book and to practice her feel-good philosophy, we asked her for five top tips for a healthier 2015.
Five Tips From Deliciously Ella
1. Focus on the positives. Trying to make too many drastic changes such as existing only on a diet of salad and going to spinning everyday is not sustainable. Instead, try adding a portion of fruit or veg to every meal - such as sweet potato to your evening meal or a banana to your breakfast. It’s such a small change but over the week that’s 21 extra servings.
2. Don’t punish yourself. Living a healthy life isn’t supposed to be a punishment. It isn’t about dieting or deprivation. It’s about enjoying your food. If you want a burger and chips, then eat it and don’t starve yourself the next day, just focus on nourishing foods.
3. Find balance. There isn’t ever a one-size-fits-all with diet, so it's important to find what works for you. We should all eat more fruit and vegetables, more nuts and seeds. But don’t feel like one thing is good for one person, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
4. Gradually shift to more natural foods. Swap white rice for brown rice, sugar for maple syrup or honey, normal milk for oat or almond milk.
5. Remember to enjoy your food. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in crazy diets or deprive yourself. But take time to savour what you’re eating and to tune into your body - is it making you feel good? do you feel full and satisfied?