Goodness, we’re in February. That means I’ve been eating the Honestly Healthy way for over a month (if you missed them, catch up on my posts explaining Honestly Healthy and my motivation before I began, and a two-week update). But do you know what? It’s just become a new lifestyle, which is fabulous.
When I set out, I thought I might try and keep this up for three weeks or a month tops, and I was half expecting I’d find it too hard. Honestly Healthy founder Natasha Corrett said that after three weeks of alkaline eating she never wanted to go back to her previous eating habits, and lo and behold, the same seems to have happened to me. I can’t quite believe it myself.
It’s not a diet, I just massively prefer eating this way.
That said, I’m not 100% strictly following the Honestly Healthy lifestyle, but rather merging it with the food philosophy of the fabulous Deliciously Ella and creating a balance between the two.
I, like millions of other foodies, got my copy of Deliciously Ella’s book the other day, and I’m not even exaggerating when I say I want to make approximately 95% of the recipes therein. I love how simple the majority are (more so than the Honestly Healthy book, which I like) and Ella also uses a lot of the same ingredients throughout, which is great as then you don’t need to keep buying new things for each recipe. One area in which the Honestly Healthy book trumps Deliciously Ella’s though is that the former has pictures of every dish, whereas Ella’s doesn’t. That’s probably my only qualm with the book though.
The basis of the Honestly Healthy and Deliciously Ella lifestyles is the same – natural, wholesome, unrefined food. Both eschew dairy, meat and gluten, but there are slight differences: Natasha, unlike Ella, includes recipes with eggs, spelt flour and cheeses such as halloumi, buffalo mozzarella and feta (which aren't from cows) for example.
So my plan is essentially to take a middle ground between the two, 80% of the time at least.
As I’ve said, it’s been surprisingly easy because I’ve been eating such wonderfully delicious things, largely thanks to the Honestly Healthy and Deliciously Ella recipes… And all the incredible food bloggers out there. Here are some of my faves:
- This Rawsome Vegan Life
- Ambitious Kitchen
- Chocolate-Covered Katie
- Cookie and Kate
- Vegan Richa
- Naturally Sassy
I could go on and on as there are tons of fabulous, inspirational food bloggers out there, and don’t even get me started on my fave instagram accounts.
By sharing exciting new recipes that I desperately want to try, they all help me stay motivated to stick with my healthy lifestyle, even if it involves a smidge more effort and a teeny bit more money than my previous habits.
Here are some of my fave things that I’ve eaten over the past fortnight (apologies for the heavy breakfast-emphasis - I'm just a real breakfast lover and they always seem more instagram-worthy than my other meals... Do follow me to keep updated!)
There has been rather a lot of chia pudding, in various guises. For example...
|Banana chia pudding with crunchy hazelnut butter, cinnamon and blueberries.|
|Coconut chia pudding with banana, blueberries and crunchy almond butter.|
I also adooooore porridge!
This was Deliciously Ella's recipe for coconut porridge. It was super creamy from coconut milk AND coconut oil, and I added plump sultanas, crunchy almond butter, fresh blueberries and a generous drizzle of Sweet Freedom.
And the above concoction was another amazing porridge twist from the Deliciously Ella book - apple and cinnamon porridge bake. Seeeeeriously tasty, you guys.
There have been breakfasts of general mixed-up yumness such as...
|A parfait of blueberries, vanilla soya yoghurt, banana and homemade Honestly Healthy nutty granola.|
|Healthy chocolate hazelnut granola, banana, blueberries and almond milk.|
|Swirly pink breakfast bowl of yum!|
There have been pancakes...
|Oat and wholemeal spelt pancakes topped with banana, crunchy hazelnut butter and maple syrup.|
|A healthy chocolate brownie-banana shake.|
|A mango, banana and coconut smoothie adding a summery vibe to a wintry morning|
And then this incredible concoction following a Chocolate Covered Katie recipe:
|Warm, creamy peanut butter banana breakfast pudding, topped with banana, strawberries and agave.|
Isn't breakfast great?
Yeah, I like me some lunch too. Although I haven't photographed them all, I've been munching a lot of houmous, falafel, crudités, roasted veg, spiralized and then stir-fried veg, Ryvitas, soups and salads. And when I say salads I mean actual interesting ones such as...
|Simple salad jazzed up with warm sweet potato falafel, freshly roasted cashews and tahini dressing.|
|Lettuce, cucumber, warm courgette-quinoa with bulgar wheat and cashews, generously drizzled with tahini-olive oil dressing|
|Quinoa with sprouts and peas.|
When it comes to dinner, the trick is to have as many different types of veggies as poss cooked in different ways, that way there's so much interest in your dish that you don't feel like you're missing anything.
|Vegan burger full of chickpeas, sweetcorn and smoked paprika|
|Baked peppers stuffed with quinoa (mixed with sautéed courgette, onion and garlic), with broccoli and sprouts|
|My healthy veggie-fried quinoa.|
As well as these I've been doing tasty stir-fries in peanut butter-tamari sauce, courgetti bolognese, veggie curries and roasted butternut squash halves with different toppings. Mmmm...
Along with snacking on fruit, nuts and coconut yoghurt, I've been whipping up some beyond tasty treats.
These chocolate brownie balls are a bit of a long story, but to cut it short, I made some healthy banana-pecan brownies which were a bit of a fail. Although they tasted great, the texture was not good. So, as I simply do not do food waste, I crumbled them up, mixed in peanut butter, agave and chopped medjool dates, rolled them into balls, covered them in coconut and voilà!
I am in looooooove with these squidgy no-bake healthy peanut butter chocolate circles. Man oh man, are they good. Recipe here, chums! You're going to want to make these, trust me.
Who knew healthy eating could be so delicious? Well, I hope more people catch on soon.
And I just feel great as a result! I’m not going to lie, of course, I could still murder a plate of sausages and creamy mash, a deep-pan cheesy peperoni pizza or a cheeseburger, but I’m just sort of managing not to. For now, anyway.
I mean, I know I’m going to eat those things again in my life, and I’m OK about not eating them right now. In fact, I really want to eat wholesome foods. If I could eat dishes from my Honestly Healthy and Deliciously Ella cookbooks for the rest of my life, I would be a happy bunny.
The thing is though, it would be impossible to eat that way all the time, which I’ve accepted. Of course, I’ve broken the “rules”, but that’s called having a life. What’s more, neither Honestly Healthy nor Deliciously Ella use peanut butter, but I am just too much of a PB lover to go without. I’ve cut down though, using other tasty nut butters more often.
When preparing food for myself, I stick to my healthy lifestyle. When eating out or at a friend’s for dinner, I enjoy my meal and don’t worry about going off-track.
|Picking the healthy options when out - bye bye brownies, hello date and banana slice.|
I’m fairly certain most mainstream restaurants do not have a single dish that would fit in with eating the Deliciously Ella or Honestly Healthy way, which is a real shame. I’ve been out a couple of times over the past few weeks and have just tried to choose the closest option.
Oh, and I’d never be one of those people who is invited to a friend’s for dinner and then gives their host a list of foods they won’t eat. Especially considering it’s not like my body is actually intolerant to anything.
I mean, HELLO! You’ve been generously invited! Don’t be difficult (unless you genuinely have an allergy or something), just don’t add extra cheese!
I went for a lovely dinner at a friend’s the other day and she cooked us up a feast of pasta in creamy sauce with chicken and veggies. So yes, I ate gluten and dairy and meat but I’m OK with that. Sure, I felt bloated afterwards (first pasta in a month) but it was blimmin’ delish.
To be honest, I think it’s actually a good thing to break the “rules” every now and then – a) you don’t want to make yourself completely intolerant, and b) you’re more likely to get a massive craving and binge if you don’t allow yourself to stray occasionally.
|The Hemsley sisters, Natasha Corrett, Ella Woodward and Rose Lloyd Owen - pic from deliciouslyella's instagram|
What I love is that people like Natasha Corrett and Ella Woodward, along with the likes of the Hemsley & Hemsley and Livia’s Crumble, are making healthy eating trendy. It’s now cool to be fit and healthy, and that is a fabulous thing.
It must only be a matter of time before these ladies get TV series. I would be thrilled to see any of them grace our screens, and can only wonder who will be first...
I hope that as the health trend grows, it becomes easier to find products in major supermarkets that I can currently only find in health food shops, and also that restaurants start serving more dairy-free, refined sugar-free and vegan dishes.
I know there are a growing number of vegan/raw restaurants in London already (remember Nama? I so want to go back!), but the same can't be said for the rest of the UK , unfortunately. At least there are a lot of vegetarian and gluten-free options around these days.
Honestly, I'm a total convert to this way of eating and now just want to help spread the message that eating healthily and nourishing your body can be delicious and easy.
What do you think? I'd love to know your thoughts!