She might be all about the deliciousness, but ELLA WOODWARD is keen to avoid being a diet dictator.

As her second book is released, the blogger-turned-bestselling recipe-writer tells KEELEY BOLGER about wedding plans, working with her fiance and why food guilt should be banished.

After a whirlwind year, which saw her first book become the UK’s biggest-selling debut cookbook of all time, health blogger Ella Woodward could be forgiven for having a bit of time off.

But this 24-year-old isn’t one for thumb-twiddling.

Her follow-up book – Deliciously Ella Every Day – has just hit the shelves (and a third is already in the pipeline), plus there’s a new venture – The Mae Deli in London, which she runs with her fiance – and cookery classes to teach, a new modelling campaign for Amanda Wakeley, and her ongoing training to become a nutritionist.

“It’s good,” she says with a laugh.

“There’s a lot going on, but it feels like a really exciting time.”

Another of those exciting things is her forthcoming marriage, to Tessa Jowell’s son Matthew Mills.


They got together last year, and enjoy a happy working relationship as well as romantic one.

“It is really nice,” says Woodward, of teaming up with her beau for The Mae Deli, “because up until now, everything I’ve done, I’ve worked on my own.

“I do love it, and I’ve got girls in the office who help me, but it is all me.

“With everything that has happened with Deliciously Ella, it’s been amazing, and obviously all your friends and family will be excited for you, but I don’t know if it’s quite the same.

“There’s something nice about when you start something together, when you share in the excitement.

“We’re both really excited by the same things, and you’ve got someone to bounce ideas off all the time.”

She says they’re planning to have a “really small wedding” later this year.

“It’s another thing to plan, but a nice thing...”

Much as they’ll give the cooking a wide berth on the big day, crossover was an inevitability.

“We were doing recipes recently for the deli and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this one could be our wedding cake’, and I was so excited by it,” she reveals with a laugh.

Like her deli, books – and presumably her wedding cake too – Woodward has built her reputation on the idea that, with a few clever ingredient swaps, healthy eating needn’t mean fussy and boring eating.

It’s been a steep learning curve for the former “sugar monster”.


Indeed, just five years ago, Woodward radically changed her diet when her health was on the wane, leaving the then 19-year-old model and history of art student bed-ridden for up to 16 hours a day, unable to risk a short stroll without suffering heavy heart palpitations and chronic pain.

Eventually diagnosed with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), a potentially debilitating condition which affects the autonomic nervous system, she found that traditional treatments only went so far, and so she looked to her diet for answers.

She admits she’d rarely cooked before that point, but gradually, she overhauled her diet, cutting out meat, dairy, sugar and processed food. Soon she felt much better, and began documenting her culinary experiments on her blog.

Today, her subscribers are in excess of 60,000, in addition to her 715k Instagram followers and 85k Twitter fans.

And much as the regime works well for her and her devotees, she is keen to avoid guilt-mongering others into following her food path.

“I don’t particularly like the concept of a guilty pleasure,” says Woodward. “Be forgiving of yourself.

“I think people want to ‘eat perfectly’, and that doesn’t exist.

Eating perfectly is what makes you happiest, and that might be eating a smoothie for breakfast but having a pizza with your girlfriends for dinner – that’s fine.

“As long as you don’t wake up the next day and make yourself feel guilty about it.

“There’s so much guilt associated with food.”