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100+ Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes
By Ella Woodward
Publication Date: 3/3/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special thank you to Scribner and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
DELICIOUSLY ELLA, by Ella Woodward is a “must read” for those like myself and others, on a plant-based vegan diet, using food instead of medications for ultimate wellness– taking you beyond the boring and limited, offering an array of alternatives to sweeten your daily meal planning, while maintaining a healthy and sociable lifestyle.
If you have followed Deliciously Ella’s popular food blog,you will be captured by her story, and her need to change her eating habits; she embraces it with creativity and passion— and best of all she shares her tried and proven recipes, essentials, and tips to others in this valuable book. Was delighted to discover this book on NetGalley!
What I enjoyed most about this beautifully packaged cookbook, making it unique--how Ella approaches this lifestyle. She demonstrates how to incorporate healthy eating habits and still entertain, travel, enjoy brunch, dinner parties, and socialize with girlfriends, and other friends with food. She uses photography to draw you in to set the stage. I have found many people think they have to give up being sociable if they want to follow a healthy lifestyle.
Ella shares 100 brand-new recipes with her own unique style, with photos, a list of essentials, substitutions, and easy to follow instructions and recipes broken down as follows:
• Nuts & Salads
• Beans and Legumes
• Smoothies & Juices
• Living the Deliciously Ella Way
• Favorite Resources
Since I have been on this diet (even stricter) for years, it is no problem for me, as I work from home, am single, my family lives out of state, not a lot of socializing, and seldom dine out except for a few limited vegan cafes I know and trust. I am a reader, blogger and reviewer so have time to plan my meals, shop and enjoy the overall process. I also live in an urban downtown area with many vegan restaurants and gourmet health food stores nearby, within walking distance and a weekly farmers market. I have spent years researching and testing foods – Ella has done this for you (wish she had been around years ago when I began experiencing problems).
Presently am traveling as my mom has cancer; making it more challenging; especially in areas where the nearest gourmet food store is over an hour away, and no healthy or vegan restaurants within an hour, and an entire family who eats like crap. I do not eat anything they eat. When I travel, I plan all my meals and food ahead. My family and grandchildren, unfortunately live on processed food and they continue to wonder why they feel so bad? It takes education, research, and time to plan healthy meals and some people cannot comprehend how much better they would feel, if taking the time—it is so worth it!
I was very drawn to this book, as I felt as though I were reading my own story, so could relate in so many ways.
My Experience with Food Allergies:
About five years ago I began experiencing all sorts of allergic problems, from chemicals, medications, environment and mostly food allergies. It became so serious with emergency rooms visits, an array of allergy specialists, physicians, and cardiologist, etc. With full blown anaphylaxis (5 times-very scary), always carry an Epi-Pen, and children’s Benadryl; experienced ongoing sinus infections, ear infections, Tachycardia, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, PVCs, PACs, Left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction, headaches, stomach problems, etc. I refuse to take any medications, as believe in natural and holistic approaches.
All of this started when going through menopause at age 53. I had never been a sick person, very fit, exercise daily, and eat very healthy; with low blood pressure and taken no medications due to my sensitivities and intolerance. My heart rate was 120-200 all hours of the day and especially at nighttime with no sleep sending me into overdrive most of the time. When I worked out, my heart rate would not go back down. When out in the heat biking or jogging, my heart pounded and would take up to 24 hrs. to reduce and found it worse when stressed or in the heat, and at night. After many tests and 24 hour Holter heart monitor, I could see what these foods were doing to my body. Being I cannot take medications, I began concentrating on foods.
I take my health very seriously, and began keeping a food journal of everything I was eating from morning until evening, all meals, any snacks, and noted date, time, symptoms, ingredients, as well as recording of blood pressure, heart rate and exercise. (I even developed extensive excel spread sheets; well worth the time and effort). Over the course of two years, I began eliminating foods and began seeing a big difference. You have to take control, as a firm believer, "you are what you eat".
I am pleased to say, for the last three years, I have been a strict healthy natural vegan (no meats or dairy), gluten-free, no alcohol, no sodas, packaged foods, no sulfites, no caffeine, no additives or preservatives, and no processed foods. I cannot tolerate sulfites - Look for sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite or potassium metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, or sodium sulfite on food labels. Sulfites are in many foods including beer wine, canned goods, trail mix, juices, baked goods, vinegar, many condiments, etc.
I eat only organic, use sea salt, Stevia in the Raw, and drink only Smart Water and occasionally decaf coffee (certain brands). I eat fresh organic vegetables and fruits, Quinoa, beans, lentils, and whole grains (I stay away from corn, wheat, and tomatoes).
For the last three years I have experienced no heart palpitations, no anaphylactic attacks, no allergies, sinus issues, or stomach problems. I take no medications, or vitamins, no prescription drugs, or over the counter medications. I have tons of energy, healthy, fit, and have maintained a size 4 dress size, and will never go back to eating bad things. I plan my meals, am very organized, and very seldom dine out, as do not trust the unknown additives. If I eat one bad thing, it starts back, so I would rather give up than suffer a night of heart pounding.
Summary With this being said, I am always looking for creative ways to cook and stay within my regime. Ella offers many added options and substitutions for dairy and chocolate and gluten-free diets. She demonstrates how to use brown rice flower, ground almonds, chia seeds, almond milk, buckwheat flour, coconut oil, nut butters, raw cacao powder, gluten free flour, etc, and of course, my favorite for years Quinoa (which I eat daily in all sorts of different ways). I am using this book daily to change up my meals (love the scones), and add some spice and variety to my healthy diet.
Even if you do not have serious allergies, or currently health issues, this book is for anyone wanting to learn more, and also a great way to cook for those friends, and family which are allergic or have food sensitivities. You may be on the fence about going vegetarian or vegan, have celiac disease, or maybe looking for a change, and this this book is an excellent place to begin. You can try new things without giving up great food. It is simple and easy to follow!
Highly recommend! Be sure and check out Ella’s Blog to learn more.