I have a new lease of life! I can't even to begin to explain how amazing I feel, and it's all down to simply changing a few of my eating habits and moving a bit more.
My wedding dress finally arrived last week so I got to the boutique as soon as humanly possible to try it on, but HORROR.... it was too tight!! Months of enjoying too much coffee, chocolate and wine (with a particular penchant for chocolate muffins) had widened my waistline and tubbed up my tummy. Half a stone heavier and half a year later my dress just wouldn't close around those new-found curves. I was devastated.
That very moment I decided to change. I was so determined to lose those pounds that I cleared the kitchen of any go-to comfort foods and snacks, banned alcohol and started a work-out regime I could do in my own living room. After a couple of days I was feeling OK but missing my snacks and sugary treats. It was only whilst flipping through my monthly Red magazine that a brunette beauty in an apron jumped out from the pages and practically slapped me around the ears.
(Picture sourced from deliciouslyella.com)
The beauty was Ella Woodward, the article entitled 'This woman will change the way you eat.' I couldn't have phrased it better myself. A thrilling story of overcoming a severe illness only to better her health, her self, her life. A diet of raw foods, vegan and unprocessed had transformed Ella into a healthy, shining version of herself, full of life and enjoying the beginnings of a thriving career. I can only say I was truly, deeply inspired. So much so that I forgot about my beloved magazine as I hit Ella's website to soak up as much as I could about this wonderful woman. Recipes for every occasion, tips and tricks and words of wisdom left me tingling with excitement at the thought of a new diet, in the true sense of the word, that I could actively undertake and enjoy. Having a cow's milk intolerance has led me to substitute products for years so I was already well aware of most of Ella's key ingredients. Obviously a lot more needed to change though, so out went sugar, dairy, gluten and absolutely anything processed. My stick blender was dusted off and the fridge stocked to bursting with fruit and veg, the bench piled high with nuts and seeds. My day now starts with a smoothie instead of a coffee and porridge was already my staple so no change needed there. Within two days I had lost weight, my skin had cleared up and I was jumping with all my extra energy. I noticed instantly that I wasn't getting hungry until meal times, and I was never tempted to eat biscuits or chocolate. I could barely believe it! My fiance was also incredibly impressed. My spirits were so high and I no longer needed a nap in the afternoon or after dinner. To put it simply, the transformation was simply incredible. Now Ella doesn't necessarily suggest going completely vegan or denying yourself your favourite foods for the rest of time, she simply recommends moderation. For instance, cooking for two means compromises need to made. I haven't given up meat or fish but I have reduced my intake, preferring to get my protein from pulses. I also haven't completely given up gluten. As much as I can I eat gluten-free but sometimes pasta is a must! I will also be rewarding myself with a glorious glass of red wine once a bit more weight has dropped off.
So what's the point of all of this then? Why change? Think of this diet as a new healthy way of life. The food you eat is fuel for your body, and eating food in it's raw state allows you to benefit more from the goodness that food has to offer. I'm exploding with vitamins and minerals, essential for normal bodily functions and digestion. I can't remember the last time I felt bloated, or the last time I had a headache. I'm sleeping better than ever, my eyes are bright, my skin is glowing and I have such a positive attitude when I get up in the morning and the energy I need to float through my day. I have a new lease of life. Thank you Ella, you have changed the way I eat. You have changed my life!
(Credits to Red magazine July 2014 and Ella Woodward at deliciouslyella.com)