Friday, February 21, 2014

Bed-ridden by a rare illness, this 22-year-old cured herself with healthy eating - and now her recipe app is number one on iTunes

Bed-ridden by a rare illness, this 22-year-old cured herself with healthy eating
A self-confessed 'sugar monster', who was struck down with a rare illness that attacked her nervous system and left her bed-bound.

In an effort to turn her life around, Ella Woodward, 22, embraced a fully vegan lifestyle and managed to beat her illness - and launch her own successful business.

In 2011, Ella was diagnosed with a relatively rare illness called Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, or POTS.

The syndrome effectively breaks down your autonomic nervous system: the system that controls everything that is meant to happen automatically in the body - so your heart beat, digestion, circulation and immune system.

Speaking to MailOnline, Ella said: 'As you can imagine this had a pretty devastating effect on my life. I literally couldn’t walk down the street, I slept for 16 hours a day, was in chronic pain, had blackouts, never-ending heart palpitations, unbearable stomach issues, constant headaches - the list goes on.'

Ella, who lives in London, was bed-ridden 95 per cent of the time and prescribed conventional medication and steroids for about six months but they didn’t make much difference so she decided to make a change herself.

'I began researching natural healing which is how I came to change my diet. Overnight I gave up refined sugar, gluten, dairy, anything processed or refined and meat,' she said.

'It was a huge change from someone that lived off a delicious mixture of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream; mountains of Cadbury’s caramel chocolate, lots of fizzy pick-n-mix and millions of jars of peanut butter and strawberry jam eaten with a spoon.

'I noticed a difference after just a few weeks of eating well though and 18 months later I was able to come off all the medication - which I should have been on for life - and now feel absolutely amazing.'
Ella tracked her progress and shared all her favourite recipes via an online blog, Deliciously Ella.
She quickly saw her internet fame sky rocket, garnering 77,000 Instagram followers, who avidly follow her colourful 'food porn' snaps and enthusiastic attitude to clean living.

Ella, who is currently studying nutrition, was so inundated with recipe requests that she decided to launch an app.

'I wanted to launch the app to make my recipes more accessible,' she said.
'Blogs are amazing, and I’m so grateful to mine for giving me such a great platform to explore other ideas, but it’s just not practical to scroll through 30 pages of blog to find a dinner recipe.
'I also wanted to include some detox and meal plans to inspire people to try giving this way of eating a go for a few days.'

Clearly we have a taste for healthy living, the £2.99 Deliciously Ella app went to number one in the food and drinks category, both in the UK and the US, and number five on the whole Itunes store.
But Ella isn't interested in making money, she simply wants to inspire people to adopt her way of life and hopes it can help them like it helped her.

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