Deliciously Ella's tips for kicking off a plant-based diet

September is fast approaching, with a fresh outlook, like a mini New Year. After months of summer messing, it’s time to get back on track and put away the Whispering Angel. Any day now, your kids will suddenly remember there’s a Victorian bake sale on the first day back at school and that they - by which they mean, you - have to make a game pie that represents Britain’s industrialization using only 19th-century ingredients. We start considering lifestyle changes. Do I want a new job? Do I need a new hairstyle? Do I need to eat a bit healthier?

Ahead of her IMAGE event on September 4 at Medley Dublin, Deliciously Ella joined Beauty Writer Holly O'Neill to give her advice if you’re thinking of making some new season resolutions.

"My number one piece of advice is to make sure that you remember that for anything to be sustainable it has to be enjoyable. Don’t throw yourself into something that makes you unhappy for the short-term gain. This is about feeling good for the rest of your life. Find the balance for you to do that between eating well and indulging. It’s so individual, it’s going to change day by day, week by week, month on month, year on year. Once you’ve done that, find what it is that you enjoy doing. There are so many different recipe ideas and not one is right, no one is wrong, we’re all different but you take ideas and then make them work for you."

"So often people associate being healthy with having to drink lots of green smoothies and eat lots of kale and it’s okay to not like green smoothies and kale, and sometimes it can all be a bit overwhelming. My biggest advice would be, just to start with things that you know and that you are comfortable with and in September we’re coming into autumn, so you might try a sweet potato and courgette stew. You can make that with sauteed garlic and onion, try herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, paprika, and cook that in coconut milk, tinned tomatoes, with spinach, chickpeas, sweet potato, courgette, it’s so easy. It’s so accessible. You can make a massive batch of it, one-pot dish, feed all the family and friends, freeze it or take the leftovers to work. What I would start with, is a five bean chilli or a Thai curry, things that you know you will like and that feel comfortable and use familiar ingredients."

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"Maybe think about some vegetables and more interesting ways of doing them. Like with broccoli, don’t steam it or boil it but make yourself excited about eating it, do like spicy miso aubergine and broccoli with coriander and sesame seeds, chilli flakes and a miso lime ginger dressing. If we are going to try and eat five a day, a nice way of thinking about eating well is to think about interesting ways you can do it - like a turmeric cauliflower lentil salad - roast cauliflower with turmeric and cumin, toss it with lentils and raisins and parsnips and spinach and do a tahini lemon dressing. Things like that are super easy. Think about ways you can make that something you can look forward to."

Is this why you’re against the phrase clean eating?

"Well, it just doesn’t sound fun, does it? I don’t think anyone really knows what it means. People always say to me, what’s your guilty pleasure, and I always say because I think it really irritates people, I don’t have one. Not because I don’t enjoy having a pizza but because that’s not what food is about. Food is about feeling good. Sometimes, that’s about eating to have great energy and sometimes that’s about indulging after a long day. Neither is right and neither is wrong. You shouldn’t ever feel guilty about what you eat and what you’re doing, I think that is everything that’s wrong with the way we look at food now. For me, with Deliciously Ella I want to be a resource for people who do want to eat their five a day, they know they should eat a bit more broccoli but how do they do it in a way that makes them actually want to do it. I want it to feel helpful and abundant, I want it to be filled with loads of flavour and richness. Taste is essential to everything that we do."

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"The question people often say is “what’s the one thing I need to do?” But you don’t need to do one thing. Feeling good is about everything in your life, it’s about sleep, it’s about stress, it’s about relationships, just as much as it’s also about, you know, kale."

Join Ella Mills for delicious champagne and canapés (vegan of course!) on Tuesday, September 4 at Medley Dublin as we learn more about Ella's career path from food blogger to successful entrepreneur. Ella will share with us her amazing story as well as her wealth of knowledge on healthy eating and veganism. To book tickets click here, for general enquiries call 01 271 9609.

Photography by Sophia Spring.

Read the full interview with Ella Mills in the September issue of IMAGE Magazine, on shelves nationwide now. 

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