For my birthday last year a good friend bought us tickets to see Ella Woodward talk at the Kew Gardens Write on Kew festival. It was a week of literary talks hosted at Kew Gardens and Ella Woodward, of Deliciously Ella blog fame was one of them.
We didn’t really know what to expect of the talk, was it going to be a clean eating preach? Was it going to be insights into creating a successful blog? In the end it was a bit of both with a lot of questions and interaction with the (mostly female) crowd.
My biggest take away from the talk was Ella’s response to a question from the crowd about how to make this lifestyle change. I think she said something like how would you recommend making the transition into clean eating? The answer from Ella was not what I expected, but something that really resonated with my friend and I and something we talked about on our walk to the train station afterwards.
She said take a number of small steps towards the big change you want to make. That at the end of the year it’s better to be look back and say I made these changes for good. Rather than I attempted an extreme diet and failed after two weeks and feel like you have made no progress. Of course she is not the first person to say this, nor was the concept new to me, but something crystallised for me from that talk and it is something I have kept in my mind ever since. I am using the small steps philosophy to help me carry out my new year’s resolutions.
The other thing I took away from the talk was her recipe book. I was already familiar with her recipes from her blog, which I still follow, but now I have this lovely, homely recipe book to pore over too. I eat a pretty healthy diet, but where I always slip up is snacking. So I’m using Ella’s book to make some small changes to my baking and snacking habits this year.
Of course, the first thing I tried was the baked porridge. I have porridge every morning cooked as quickly as possible on the stovetop. Very little care is given to the seasoning and soaking of the oats, so it was nice to slow things down for this recipe. The baked banana and berries in here made it extra special too.
I use the Cinnamon + Pecan Granola recipe regularly too. I make the big batch and then have it daily on my porridge. I leave out the oats from the mixture though so I don’t double up. I always seem to slightly overcook it though. You really need to keep a constant eye on the nuts while cooking as they quickly turn black. Opps! I still eat them though, I don’t mind the extra flavour. I do hope I can get it right next time though for a nice toasting rather than charred flavour.
I made some delicious banana-y Flapjacks for a pre / post gym snack a couple of weeks ago which worked really well. After finally finding some medjool dates recently I thought I would try the Energy Bites recipe as my next ‘healthy’ snack. These are raw nutty chocolatey delights and work really well with the coconut coating. They totally fooled my boyfriend too. He thought they were the very unhealthy snowballs, but wasn’t too disappointed after he tasted them.
What small changes are you making this year? Have you tried out clean eating or in my case, clean baking? Let me know if you have any other recipes to recommend.