Ella Woodward is the brains behind the brilliant blog Deliciouslyella.com, created after Ella was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), a disease which breaks down the nervous system. After being diagnosed with the disease while at uni in 2011 Ella found that she couldn't walk down the street, slept for 16 hours a day and was in chronic pain the whole time. Rather than wallow, Ella decided to fight it. She changed her eating habits (she admits she never even ate fruit and veg before) and tried a more holistic approach, switching to a "clean, unprocessed and natural" diet that would enable her body to function as best as it could whilst dealing with POTS.
To cut a long story short Ella is now off her medication thanks to her new regimen, and her blog has become cult reading for anyone looking for simple and delicious food that's healthy but not preachy. 'When it comes to healthy eating I believe that we shouldn't see it as a diet, it's never about deprivation but instead it's about embracing all the delicious natural foods that our bodies love and all the amazing things we can do with them,' Ella told us. 'During the Christmas party season it can be a little trickier to stick to clean eating, but with a few little tricks you can have all the fun you want and still have all the excitement and energy you need to enjoy everything!'
ELLA'S THREE TOP TIPS TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE MAD PARTY SEASON
1. My number one tip is to have a smoothie every morning for breakfast, it really will do wonders for your body. I love blending a banana with some berries, a big handful of spinach, a spoonful of almond butter and some coconut water plus some spirulina if you have some. The spinach will give you lots of chlorophyll, which helps to alkalinize your body, while the coconut water adds a huge amount of potassium. The two together will replenish and hydrate your body, helping to fight off any hangover and give you all the energy you need. Plus all the antioxidants in the berries will help your skin glow. If you want the smoothie to be a little sweeter try adding a couple of medjool dates - they add an amazing caramel like flavour.
2. My second tip would be to do have some amazingly delicious and healthy snacks in the fridge for your post-party midnight feasting. I love making big batches of roasted red pepper and paprika hummus, sweet potato brownies and coconut energy bites. That way you can snack happily and feel great at the same time!
3. The third thing would be to have a big mug of hot water with lots of lemon every day. It's a really easy thing to do and it really helps to get your body working more efficiently. Lemons are high in vitamin C, which helps to fight off any party-induced cold, they're actually very alkaline too so they help to restore your body's natural balance, plus they are known to aid digestion and clear up skin.
4. Finally try and have one homemade meal every couple of days, even if it's just a super quick stir-fry, veggie quinoa bowl or avocado and tomato on toast. Eating out all the time can be tough on our bodies as there are often lots of ingredients which are a little harder to digest so it's awesome to give our stomachs a chance to chill every now and again.
WATCH ELLA MAKE SWEET POTATO BROWNIES BELOW...