These talented enterprisers; Ella is an award winning food blogger who recently published her Deliciously Ella cookbook, while Rose lists Stella McCartney and Alice Temperley amongst the many fashionable clients of her natural food catering business; are redefining the image of modern health food. No longer is eating well the sole territory of granola crunching hippies or pretentious people consciously coupled to kale and spirulina smoothies. Ella and Rose offer accessible and enjoyable avenues towards personal well-being and a sustainable future.
For Woodward, the decision to adopt a plant-based diet was less of a choice than a health-mandated necessity. Several years ago, after months of struggling with a painful condition that prohibited the then-university student from even standing up, Ella was eventually diagnosed with a disorder known as Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, for which the 28 varieties of medication she was prescribed did little to improve the situation. Taking her health into her own hands, Woodward began Deliciously Ella as a way of documenting her own journey to healthy living, swapping junk food staples for an all natural diet. While Ella is currently training as a nutritionist, her accessible approach is part of what makes Deliciously Ella so appealing, having made the leap from self-identified ‘sugar monster’ to healthy-eating not too long ago, the author recognises the intimidating or exclusive associations that often accompany notions of health-food, providing recipes that overcome the otherwise steep learning curve and enable cooks of varying levels to feel comfortable introducing new ingredients to their pantries and experimenting with healthier recipes in their kitchens. In the author’s own words, ‘you can still eat lots of filling, hearty meals and enjoy comfort food when you eat healthily!’
Rose Lloyd Owen, the Peardrop founder, admits that long before quitting her desk job to launch her own food company she had been ‘a total cooking geek,’ yet despite her experience in the kitchen, accessibility remains equally essential to Peardrop’s mission as it is to Deliciously Ella’s. Owen states that she’s always wanted to show people that ‘healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, that it can be exciting and yummy.’ This pragmatism flows through every aspect of Peardrop’s philosophy, reflecting Owen’s own understanding of the pretentiousness often seen as accompanying popular food fads: ‘having a healthy lifestyle is not about taking out a bank loan to afford expensive coconut oil or the latest trendy ‘superfood.’ As per the Peardrop philosophy Rose explains, ‘healthy eating does not equal exclusion, but balance.’
Beyond spreading the joys of good, healthy food, Ella and Rose are sending a bigger message to their masses of followers. For Ella, what started out as a personal record of her own progress became less about her individual journey and more about ‘conveying a message of health and happiness’ to a broader audience. Rose, on the other hand, takes her interest in personal health and well-being a step further by promoting socially responsible business practices including environmentally friendly packaging that can be recycled or composted and preventing waste by donating excess food to local homeless shelters. At Peardrop, the ideas of eating well and doing good for our planet are inextricably linked: ‘reducing food waste, recycling, slowing down landfill, supporting small farmers, discouraging the growth of factory farming, eating free range, driving our cars less, stopping deforestation. Looking after our planet and the people on it is the common denominator.
Why not check out some of Ella’s favorite London treats like the sweet potato curry at Mildreds, kale salad at Nama, or raw deserts and juices from Juice Baby, and soon enough Peardrop’s own Pearshop will be gracing the streets of London.
Mildreds, 45 Lexington Street, London, UK, +44 207 494 1634
Nama Foods, 110 Talbot Road, London, UK, +44 207 313 4638
‘Deliciously Ella’ by Ella Woodward is out now published by Yellow Kite, £20