I was travelling quite a lot in September, including spending a few days in Switzerland (very exciting to see DE in shops there!), so took a deep dive into various podcasts, including the Daily’s unpacking of the Ozempic trend and a brilliant three-hour special on Goop.
The Ozempic Era of Weight Loss on the NY Times Podcast, The Daily
The Ozempic one is fascinating, and I highly recommend it to anyone curious about the trajectory of the wellness industry. I’ve been following the conversations on Ozempic for a while now. It’s incredibly rare for a pharmaceutical drug to mean something universally, but Ozempic has been all over the press and social media, notably surrounding the is-she/isn’t-she (or he) conversation on whether or not various celebs have used it for weight loss. This show takes a deep dive into this obsession and what the future of it might look like. Is Ozempic moving us back to a more 90’s-style thin ideal and quickly throwing out any progress we’ve made on more ‘normal’ beauty standards? More interestingly to me, is it pushing us back to re-prioritising size over health?
Gwyneth, Goop & Everything Else on the Shameless Podcast
I also finished a three-part podcast on Goop and Gwyneth Paltrow, which I loved. One of my colleagues recommended the Shameless podcast, it’s mostly focused on celeb news and pop culture, but they do special deep dives into topics and the Gwyneth Paltrow/Goop one caught my eye. I’ve always been fascinated by their story and really enjoyed getting more context, very much recommend it. I’m a little mixed on Gwyneth and Goop, I deeply admire the confidence and the passion for wellness but I feel it goes a little (and oftentimes a lot) too far for me. This is a very balanced look at the topic.
Deliciously Ella x Chilly Flask
If you’ve followed me on social media for a while, then you know I’ve spent a long time searching for the perfect on-the-go coffee cup. I’d say this Chilly’s one is the best reusable option on the market by quite some way, and I do genuinely feel that I’ve tried them all! It’s lovely to drink from, easy to carry, keeps your coffee hot and looks great. It doesn’t claim to be leak-proof, but once you’ve finished your drink, you can close it up and those last few tiny drops don’t spill in your bag. Essentially it ticks all my boxes, so we made a co-branded one and I’ve never felt fancier!
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
At the rate at which I share books here, I should probably start a DE book club! Reading has always been my favourite hobby, outside of time with my girls. Nothing helps me switch off and de-stress more. I’m always on the hunt for a good book and this is my read of the summer. I also read ‘Trespasses’ by Louise Kennedy and ‘Yellowface’ by Rebecca Kuang, both of which I liked(ish) but didn’t love. With Trespasses I desperately wanted to know what happened in the end, so did find myself racing through it at times but found it a little clunky to follow in places, it didn’t flow in the way I like a book too and I found it was missing the sense of pace that I enjoy. Yellowface was intriguing but ultimately a little repetitive (in my view) and I found myself a little bored by it about a third of the way through, plus the main character is just horrendous. Romantic Comedy on the other hand is a joy, the best kind of ‘chick flick’ reading, where the characters are great, the story is smart, and the whole book is uplifting, well-written and enriching. 10/10 recommend.
RMS 'Halo Eyeshadow'
I keep my skincare and make-up minimal and use a relatively small number of products. I’ve used the make-up almost all year: Ilia mascara, Esse foundation (with SPF), Refy brow gel, Tata Harper blush and RMS eyeshadow, that’s it. This creamy eye shadow has a gorgeous shimmer, stays on brilliantly and gives a great ‘glow’, making me look a little more awake and alert than I sometimes feel as a toddler mum!
Lessons in Chemistry
I’ve finally finished Lessons in Chemistry. I bought it a year ago, amidst the hype of its launch, and I’m sorry to say that the book sat on my bedside table up until a month or so ago. I’m not sure why I kept putting it off (maybe I was subconsciously nervous that it really would be a ‘lesson in chemistry’ and take me back to dreaded school days!), but suffice it to say it’s brilliant. Easy to read, uplifting, everything you need to switch off at the end of the day. Plus, reading is proven to reduce stress in as little as 10-20 minutes, so a good book is officially good for your health.
Deliciously Ella 'Salted Dark Swiss Chocolate'
Chocolate is possibly my favourite food, alongside very creamy hummus with hot flatbreads and a really good curry – not all at the same time, don’t worry! As lots of you will know, making products without any ultra-processed ingredients sits at the heart of what we do at DE, so making a really good UPF-free chocolate has been a longstanding dream of mine. We initially cracked it a couple of years ago but always felt it could go up a notch. This is now the real deal, unlike almost all chocolate, it’s emulsifier-free (hooray), tastes perfectly creamy and I’m going through a bar a day at the moment. It’s made in Switzerland, using traditional methods and you really taste that authenticity in each bite. It’s dark chocolate with sea salt for me, but the super creamy (more milk-style) hazelnut is prenominal too. P.S. Members get 15% off every shop, so stock up!
Edgar & Cooper Plant-Based Dog Food
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about simple ways we can reduce our carbon footprint as a family. One of the easy switches I found was moving our dog, Austin, towards a plant-based diet. I read this article a few weeks ago, which showed that if all the world’s dogs went vegan it would save more greenhouse gas emissions than those produced by the whole of the UK! We actually tried to make our own plant-based dog food about seven years ago and couldn’t quite crack the recipe, but recently started using the Edgar & Cooper one, which is great. My discount code is ELLA20 if you want to try it for 20% off your first order.
An Interesting Read
Very interesting piece of research here on swapping animal protein for plant protein. From a Harvard study on 200,000 people:
‘Participants who ate the most red meat had a 62% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the least. Every additional daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 46% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers also found that substituting a serving of nuts and legumes was associated with a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.’
Refy 'Brow Gel'
Two more beauty products to finish! This Refy brow gel was a recommendation from my sister that’s become a staple for me, by far and away the best brow gel I’ve ever used. Plus the company is female-founded and all vegan/cruelty-free too.
This might get the no. 1 spot, it's magic. As someone who hates wearing makeup that feels like makeup this is everything. Plus, it's got SPF30!
This is my non-negotiable, it might be the best product I own. I can’t see myself using another foundation again. It’s super lightweight, more like a hybrid between a tinted moisturiser and a foundation. I wear it every day and it makes me feel (and I think look) a lot better with very minimal effort. I’m not a make-up expert by any means, but I love finding easy-to-use, natural products that really work. I just apply it with my fingers like a tinted moisturiser (on top of a hyaluronic acid and a facial oil).