blogger, deliciously ella, Ella Woodward, fare healthy, gluten free eating out, gluten free events, gluten free london, gluten free raw, Hemsley + Hemsley, Hemsley gluten free, hemsley sisters, Paradise by way of kensal rise, spiraliser
So reflecting on my time at Fare Healthy a couple of weeks ago, the experience has really stayed with me. Such as positive approach to healthy eating, that was filled with excitement, a real buzz and gluten free food everywhere. Excuse me for sounding naff, but it was an uplifting experience. On a practical level I have been really inspired to include more fruit, veg, nuts and seeds into my families meals, especially my 1 and 4 year olds. They already love their fruit and veg – thanks to babyled weaning – but making healthy snacks together, balancing the plates with more veg and less carbs, and making morning smoothies together has been fun. And I cannot wait to get my 4yr old using the spiraliser!
Much of this renewed passion for veg came from listening to Hemsley + Hemsley – the London sisters who promote healthier diets through a more modern approach to traditional home cooking. Slow cooking, soups, stews, with “new gadgets such as the spiraliser” – cue courgetti demo! By their own admission they “don’t deal with calories, only nutrient dense food”. In particular they are “all about broccoli, butter, bone broth, championing vegetables.. even the ugly ones too”.
Their food is always gluten, grain and refined sugar free and their passion for this is really infectious. I loved their approach to gluten free living; “for anyone with coeliac disease or reducing gluten spiralisers can help replace the other refined grains”. “Gluten free alternatives are hard to find and expensive, so doing courgetti is much cheaper”. Better for you, cheaper and naturally gluten free. Can’t beat that!
I was genuinely surprised to feel these ladies were right up my street. Partnering with my veg box suppler Riverford Organics, eating with the seasons and making everything gluten free, I am totally sold on the Hemsley + Hemsley way. Sensible, seasonal, easy to reproduce recipes that do not compromise on ingredients such as butter. I cannot wait to get my teeth into their new book.
I was also lucky enough to secure a ticket for blogging and app store legend Deliciously Ella – vegan, gluten free self healing, self taught cook, this woman has created an explosion of excitement in the food world. Her first cookbook has just blown all sales records in its first week, and she has been enlisted by the Telegraph as a food columnist.
Meeting her on my arrival, we had a quick chat about my gluten free events, she signed my book and I did the cringey thing of having a picture with her… She was very down to earth and during her talk, just spoke honestly and informally about her tips, approach to improving health and answered tonnes of questions from the hoards.
Again, I was surprisingly inspired by her simple, positive approach to healthier eating. Obviously her diet is much stricter due to her own health issues, but there was lots to learn. “Start eating with positives… cutting out this and that feels like such deprivations. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t last”. Encouraging people to start small, and not necessarily with GREEN smoothies was sensible. I have already incorporated tips like “make positive decisions in the morning to start your day well” and swapping refined grains like rice for their brown version. Again aligned with my own approach she said “Food is such a huge part of our day, so enjoy it”. Hell Yeah Sista!
Controversially, she warned people off free from products: “Don’t waste your money on free from products! They are 3 or 4 times more expensive than their counterparts. Instead focus on simple, natural ingredients. Don’t be conned!”. I couldn’t agree more and since having children I have gradually returned to buying more breads, pastas and mixes. Their convenience is unparalleled in a busy family life, but swapping them for homemade or more wholegrain versions is more realistic for me.
Ella overall had a positive approach too to healthier eating – it has after all improved her health beyond belief. The Hemsley sisters passion too was infectious, and I came away from both talks feeling like I wanted to improve the nutritional content of the food I feed, not just myself but my family. Even though this event was not positioned as gluten free, or for coelaics, it was incredibly gluten free friendly. I entered Fare Healthy sceptical and cynincal of all this talk of green smoothies, power balls and raw brownies. But I left inspired, uplifted, well fed and feeling that all coeliacs and gluten avoiders can really benefit from this health and wellness revolution!
To follow this, I will also post about some of the different healthier restaurants and cafes I have tried… Raw? Juice bars? Paleo? So much to explore that is naturally gluten free!