Ella's Monthly Wellness Blog: January 2024

2024 has been a whirlwind so far! I’ve been racing from place to place on my book tour, doing lots of press, meeting thousands of you and spreading our ‘more plants’ message far and wide. I’m feeling more motivated and fulfilled than I have in a long time, incredibly grateful for your support and excited to see what the rest of 2024 has in store. I am a little exhausted though! So, I've been doubling down on the simple healthy habits that keep me feeling my best.

A daily(ish) morning routine

With two small children and a business, life is busy and getting up an hour or so before the girls has become the cornerstone of my health in many ways. The first thing I do is a guided breathwork or meditation. It helps ground me, create a positive mindset and allows me to tune inwards for a moment, before the chaos of the day starts. Nothing has a greater impact on my mental health. I then do a 10-15 minute yoga stretch, drink my coffee quietly and get ready. I find prioritising healthy habits first thing creates a positive ripple effect throughout the day.

It is a daily-ish practice though. I like this ‘ish’ because obviously it doesn’t happen 365 days a year, but it makes the world of difference when I do make the time for myself.

Immunity boosting

It’s cold season, so we’re topping up on bug busting remedies at home! Lots of homemade turmeric and ginger shots, big bowls of chunky veggie-packed soups, hot baths, cold-busting tea and early nights.

Kick-the-Cold Ginger Tea
8 mins

Kick-the-Cold Ginger Tea

This really does what it says on the tin. Our nutrient-rich brew is infused with fresh lemon, ginger, chilli, maple syrup & cinnamon. Fresh ginger is high in gingerol which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to support your immune system. Just what you need to fight off that winter cold. Dial the chilli up or down to suit your taste.

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I’ve also been using this Eucalyptus Salve from Neals Yard on the whole family, it’s brilliant when you’re feeling a little snotty and bunged up. A nice, more natural alternative to some of the other options on the market.

Jay Shetty’s podcast episode on goal setting

I know we’re past the moment of setting New Year’s resolutions, but we’ve still got 11 months of 2024 left, so it’s definitely not too late to set personal goals.

I listened to this short podcast on goal setting a few days ago and loved the clear prompts to reframe your thinking and unlock your potential, helping you become the person you want to be. I love the emphasis on the idea that our goals (or resolutions) need meaning, because without a deeper sense of meaning it’s almost impossible for them to truly take root. Likewise, we have to ready ourselves to fail along the way, that’s an inevitable part of growth.

Definitely give it a listen for a little inspiration, especially if you’re feeling you’ve lost any of the motivation you had a few weeks ago!

More Plants almond cap

I wear this proudly every day, it's so good for the school run and a nice daily reminder of our mission to get more people eating more plants more of the time! They’re almost entirely sold out, so get one while you can. I am truly obsessed with mine.

"Ultra-Processed People" by Chris van Tulleken

I first read this last year but have been re-reading it recently in light of some thinking I’m doing on our mission and the impact DE can have. It’s startling seeing the impact of ultra-processed foods laid out in such clear terms and a real call to action for us all. If you’re curious why what we eat matters, please give this a read.

Huberman Lab on Ultra Processed Foods

Along the same lines, this podcast episode was a great listen. It is a long episode, so you’ll want to split it out over a few commutes/car rides, but it’s so worth it. Robert Lustig is quite a marmite figure in the health industry, nonetheless this episode is brilliant. It takes a deep-dive into how our food choices impact both our immediate and long-term health, and how ultra-processed foods (specifically processed sugars) impact physiological pathways leading us to eat way more.

Plus, there’s a very helpful reminder from Lustig - and somewhat surprising considering that he’s known to be very assertive and often extreme about his views - that if we eat single-ingredient, whole foods MOST of the time, there is room for those more fun foods that bring you joy vs health.

Esse repair oil

I’ve used this oil morning and night for almost a year and still just adore it. I love everything about the Esse brand. It’s rare that you find something with such great ingredients that has a genuine impact, but they’re products really do. The repair oil is amazing, but I also regularly use the SPF foundation, gel cleanser and clay mask.

Ouai Scalp Oil

Another beauty recommendation, this time for your hair. My hair was seriously lacklustre post two kids, so I’ve been trying to restore it for a few years and have tried lots of products. I love the Ouai range, their hair mask is brilliant too. This serum is inspired by skincare and contains a series of adaptogens combined with hyaluronic acid. It’s so good for supports a healthy scalp, which is key to healthy hair! A nice one for a self-care moment on a Sunday evening.

Weekend beach visits

My dad lives near the seaside and we’ve been spending most weekends down there. It’s heaven getting out of London and creating a semblance of separation between work and home. There’s so much research around the power of nature, especially when it comes to boosting mental health, so we’re really trying to ensure both us and the kids get enough time outside each week. I am eyeing up the sea for a weekly cold-water swim too, so any tips would be gratefully received! So far, I’ve heard the best way to start is to wait until Spring, get some boots, gloves and a hat and make sure you’ve got something warm and cosy for when you get out. I'll let you know how I get on if I try it!

Getting out of my comfort zone

That’s my goal this year, to push myself out of my comfort zone so that we could have more impact at DE. I want to ensure everything we do is filled with purpose and helps millions of people eat more plants (and less ultra-processed food). If you’re keen to learn more about our mission and why I think it’s so important, this interview I did on the Channel 4 News podcast, ‘Ways To Change The World’ will shed a little more light on it.

When I need a bit of a reminder to push myself out of my all-too-familiar comfort zone, these two meditations really help me, one to set goals and one to continue to create a positive mindset:

Manifesting Meditation
10 mins

Manifesting Meditation

with Roxie Nafousi

Join manifesting guru and Sunday Times bestselling author, Roxie Nafousi, in this powerful and inspiring manifesting meditation.

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Creamy broccoli pasta bake

This is our new family favourite, I couldn’t recommend the recipe more. Such a great way to load up on veggies, while still being a deliciously cosy, comforting meal! I’m all about meals that the whole family enjoy and this is a great example.

Creamy Broccoli Pasta Bake
45 mins

Creamy Broccoli Pasta Bake

Moreish and creamy, with a golden crispy topping, our Broccoli Pasta Bake is packed with veggies and full of flavour. Load up on goodness with broccoli, peas, leeks and butter beans, in a deliciously rich sauce using cashews, wholegrain mustard and nutritional yeast. This is bound to be a new family favourite.

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