Around two years ago, I cut gluten and dairy out of my diet after noticing that it flared up my IBS symptoms. It was really difficult at first and I clearly remember standing in the yoghurt aisle in a supermarket trying not to cry at the thought of giving up one of my favourite dairy treats! Fast forward to today and things are much easier, I’ve found amazing alternatives to my once favourite foods and I’m much better in the kitchen at cooking up a dairy and gluten free feast. Recently though, I’ve been thinking about eating more vegan meals. I watched the ‘Seaspiracy’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ documentaries on Netflix and they shocked me so much. I already try to use as little plastic and packaging as I can by buying from my local refill shop and choosing loose fruit and vegetables and we have reduced the amount of meat we eat but I wanted to do more. I live a mostly minimalist lifestyle and do what I can to reduce my carbon footprint but after watching these documentaries, it seems that there is more power in our diet that we ever thought before. Eating vegan really is the best thing not only for our bodies and health but also for the planet.
I’ve been looking for replacement meals to the classic spaghetti bolognese and sausages and mash that often pop up on weekly meal plans and found a lot of delicious recipes online. However, I just didn’t feel as inspired by them as I hoped. One of the alternative snack ranges I’ve been eating over the past couple of years is ‘Deliciously Ella‘ but I didn’t realise that she has created an amazing app too! My Mother in Law signed up for it first and told me about some of her favourite recipes and snacks and urged me to try it. I’ve been following Deliciously Ella on Instagram since my Mother in Law mentioned the app and she posts daily recipes from the app which I must admit have been tempting my taste buds. So, I downloaded the app, signed up for a one year subscription and starting to have a look through all the features.
You do have to pay for a subscription to the app but for the amount of content you get access to its so worth it! You can pay either 99p a month or £9.99 a year and when I think of some of the other things I could waste that amount of money on its a no-brainer for the amount of value I’ve found in this app. For the cost you get access to all the features I will talk about as well as your own tracker for food, exercise, mindfulness, sleep and water intake. These are Ella’s ‘five pillars of wellness’ which she talks all about in a video in the app.
The app has loads of features to use that can help you lead a healthier lifestyle and the thing I love most is that it’s about making small and sustainable changes rather than a huge life overhaul. The home screen shows the recipe of the day as well as a snapshot of your tracker and some new and favourite features. Across the bottom of the app screen, there are sections for recipes, wellness, thoughts and ‘me’. The recipe section houses hundreds and hundreds of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks and each recipe breaks down how many plants are in each meal (it’s recommended we eat 30 different plants a week!) as well as how to prepare and store everything. The wellness section is where you can find all the exercise videos (which you can stream onto your TV too) including yoga, cardio and strength. For podcasts and articles you can look under the thoughts section and ‘me’ is for your tracker and all your favourites, meal planners, shopping lists and settings. It’s so easy to navigate the app and find what you want as well as inspiration for more!
One of my absolute favourite things about this app (apart from the amazing recipes), is the feature which allows you to quickly add exactly what ingredients you need for a recipe onto your shopping list. If you add two or three recipes then the app cleverly adds together the total amount of everything you need making writing a shopping list a breeze! Meal planning can help with meal time decision fatigue as well as saving money and food waste and the way the app allows you to add each recipe onto your own meal planner as well as collating the shopping list with the right amount of ingredients is fantastic! This smart little feature is one step towards managing and reducing food waste which we all know is a massive and growing problem.
After using this app for a week I already feel healthier! I’m more aware of making sure I get at least seven hours of sleep every night, I’m drinking more water and more conscious of being mindful and getting exercise. At first, I thought that it would be difficult to make sure I was eating at least 30 different plants in a week but thanks to the recipes and guidance, I managed it no problem! My Husband is even on board and has filled my favourited recipe section with a load of things he wants to try! My top three recommendations are the lemon, orange and poppy seed cake, the quick chocolate oats and the loaded sweet potato wedges.
Let me know if you download the app and try any of the recipes, I’d love to hear what your favourites are!