I’m very proud to interview one of my favourite bloggers, Ellie Bullen from Elsa’s Wholesome Life.
Ellie, a trainee dietitian and photographer extraordinaire creates visually stunning vegan recipes and has over one hundred thousand followers on Instagram alone. Below, Ellie shares her top Gold Coast dining spots, favourite food stores, clean eating tips and a whole lot more!
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- So Ellie, where are you from? Originally, I hail from the small coastal town of Lennox Head, however I’ve been living on the Gold Coast for the past 3 years.
- How did you choose your cute blog name? Well, it took a lot of uhmming and ahhing. I’m actually a very indecisive person! Elsa is a nickname some friends had given me (one of many), so when it came to choosing my blog name, I liked “Elsa”, and wanted it to tell my journey of living a “wholesome life”.
- Have you always been a vegetarian/vegan? Why? No, definitely not always. I was never a huge meat eater, and didn’t enjoy the taste. However, my journey to where I am now has been a progression over the last four years. I chose a vegan lifestyle because it’s a moral choice to save the animals, secondly for the way it makes me feel…I feel so nourished by eating plant foods, and thirdly because I prefer the taste of plant foods.
- What are your personal top 5 favourite foods or ingredients? What’s awesome about them? I love avocado as it makes a delicious creamy alternative to dairy (I like to go crazy on the guac on my nachos!), lime as it adds so much flavour to salads, sauces and treats and bananas as they’re so versatile – my discovery of ‘nice-cream’ has been a real game changer…there probably aren’t many nights that I go without my nice-cream! Also strawberries because they’re so delicious, I always have them in my fridge, for snacking, smoothie bowls, or making treats and I’m obsessed with mushrooms. Shiitake are my favourite because I love the strong flavour and texture. I add them to soups and stir-fry’s.
- Where do you love to eat on the Gold Coast? My favourite places are Greenhouse Factory in Kirra, Mandala Organic Arts Café, Paddock Bakery for the great atmosphere, Can-Tho Vietnamese restaurant, who do a ripper vegan Pho upon request and Blendlove for their great chai pots, raw cakes and veggie burgers!
- Where does the awesome Elsa shop for food and groceries? I love buying my fruit and veggies from Tugun Fruit and Flowers or the Saturday Burleigh Farmers Markets and I get all my bulk foods from The Source Bulk Foods store in Miami.
- You’re currently writing a recipe book, why did you decide to write one and when will it be ready? I decided to do this because I love creating healthy recipes and sharing them. I’ve been blogging for about a year and people were always telling me to write an eBook, so I finally decided to just do it! I taught myself InDesign with the help of many Youtube videos and will be launching my recipe book in December.
- Where do you get your inspiration or ideas for your beautiful recipes? All around me, eating out, scrolling through Instagram, daydreaming down at the beach, while I’m out running or sometimes late at night. I usually can’t sleep until I’ve written down my ideas.
- Who takes your stunning photo’s? It’s all me! Wow, where did you learn photography and do you have any tips? I’m actually a self taught photographer and I use a Nikon D5300. My biggest tip would be to always try and use natural light.
- What’s your regular comfort meal? Baked sweet potato chippies with mashed avo or if I’m being really lazy, it’s a big bowl of creamy nice-cream.
- Do you have any guilty pleasures? Yes, Loving Earth chocolate and strangely enough, I was never a chocolate fan until I tried their amazing chocolate!
- What advice would you give to those wanting to start eating healthier? I would say start with the basics! Eat real food such as fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Don’t over complicate it, just start experimenting with some recipes, try a variety of different fruits and veggies, and don’t eat the same things on repeat or you’ll get bored of it pretty quick!
- What do you say to others who say that veggies are boring and bland? Well, I think their taste buds are probably just de-sensitised. Once you cut back on highly sweetened, salty and fatty processed foods, your taste buds will start to reset and you’ll start to taste the true flavour of fruits and veggies. Eventually unprocessed foods will become unappetising! And I’d also recommend using various herbs and spices to liven up your dishes.
- And lastly, what are your future career plans? Well, I’m currently finishing my degree and in a year I’ll be a qualified accredited practicing dietitian but I’m also quite excited to see where my blogging and writing will take me…
So, if you love vegan food, check out Ellie’s blog and for more Gold Coast foodie interviews, cafe reviews or clean eating recipes why not subscribe to the blog by clicking here to ensure that you don’t miss out on another post. You can also follow me on Instagram for the best healthy places to eat and drink on the Gold Coast or like our Facebook page for upcoming news.
This piece originally ran in The Gold Coast Post here:
All photos sourced from goldcoastpost.com.au.