We checked in with Ella for a healthy breakfast at her new London pop-up to see what’s next for the busy blogger, cookery writer and deli owner
What sort of eater are you?
I graze a lot. Working in food there’s a lot of tasting to do – each time a recipe changes I have to try it, as I like to know everything. But eating balanced meals makes a big difference to my mood and keeps my energy up when I’m busy – the right amounts of protein, fat and carbs stabilise your blood sugar. I’ve been working 14-hour days opening my new deli in Herne Hill and my pop-up garden near Liverpool Street, both in London.
How do you keep on top of things?
I try to sleep seven hours – I really feel it if I don’t. I get up early so I can get stuff done in the morning.
What‘s in your bag for hunger pangs?
Energy balls – I have loads of my own, and new flavours all the time…
What clears your head?
I walk a lot. You get your best thinking done. My husband Matt and I walk 50 min across Hyde Park to work [the Mae Deli in Marylebone] and I try to walk between meetings. I go to the gym in phases, but for the past few months I’ve been up at 6am and working until 11pm. I’m not getting up at 5am to make time for the gym.
Is getting your five-a-day a breeze?
No, I think it’s a challenge for everyone. Some days I get in 10 and I’m smashing it – other days I get minus one! I’m always conscious of it.
What’s your go-to drink?
Tea – especially ginger. I prefer hot drinks, even hot water, to cold. Coffee is my favourite smell, but I never got into the taste.
Do you take supplements?
I’ve taken probiotics every day for over a year. I was on antibiotics for two-and-a-half years when I was sick [in 2011 Ella was diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome, which affected her blood pressure and heart and brought on allergies and chronic fatigue]. Now I take the supplement Symprove to balance my gut bacteria. It tastes disgusting – but it’s worked well for me. When you’re feeling good all round, it’s a positive cycle. It helps keep me on an even keel.
How do you maintain a healthy weight?
I don’t believe in scales – I’d rather go on how I feel. Can I do my jeans up? If not, I’ll have less dessert, walk more and eat more green stuff. If you check the scales and find you’re a few pounds heavier, it can make you miserable all day. And it could just be that you haven’t been to the loo! I don’t think you should measure your self-worth by the number on the scales. That’s sad.
Which healthy gadgets do you use most?
My blender/food processor. You can use it to make something super simple or something special. I like different pestos and types of hummus, with roasted red pepper or roasted beetroot, chickpeas, tahini and cumin. We make pea purée all the time – it’s the cheapest, easiest thing. You just boil the peas, then purée them with olive oil, lime juice, a little bit of apple cider vinegar and season to taste.
What’s the next big food trend?
I don’t rate food trends. I prefer simple, natural food and I’m all about enjoying what’s available. Kale is a so-called superfood, but spinach, chard and watercress are just as good.
Three things I love
Spicing it up We eat a lot of Indian – it’s great for veggies.
Stepping out Walking Austin our dog is the best thing.
Suppertime It’s about sharing good food.