Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Ella Woodward, founder and creator of healthy food brand and blog Deliciously Ella, and founder of the seriously delicious (and healthy) The Mae Deli in London, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from the beauty products she swears by to the workouts that get her up and out each day.
I’m quite an early riser and I’m up at 6 a.m. on most days. I’m definitely a morning person, and I’m pretty rubbish at nighttime. I’m happily in bed by 10 p.m! If you wake me up at 6 a.m. I can work and crack anything out, but if you try to get me do that at night, it will be sloppy. Also being up early means I can then make it to a workout class at 6:30 a.m.
I’m trying to get exercise in before I head to work, so the only way to do that is to get up early. If I’m booked in to a class, I’ll make myself go. Of course, there are mornings when my alarm goes off and I’m like “Oh, I’m quite tired,” but if I’m committed to a class and I’ve booked and paid for it, then I’m motivated to get up. I’ve been so bad at exercising recently, but it’s my favorite way of getting headspace and clearing my head before the day. I love how a good workout makes you feel strong and empowered, so that’s why I recently started doing HIIT classes. I thought I was going to be sick the other day – it’s so hard! But I’m really enjoying it, and I switch it up between that and yoga.
I go to a few different studios in London. There’s Core Collective just off High Street Kensington, which is pretty intense but really good and has loads of different classes. I also go to The Life Centre for yoga, and I do reformer Pilates at Heartcore, which is really great. The studio closest to me is tiny, so sometimes it feels like a private session. Those are my three go-tos for workouts.
I’ve tried to make promises to myself so many times that I won’t check my phone as soon as I wake up, but at the moment things are just so busy, which is great but it’s manic! Especially as I’m now managing a team of over 60 people. I actually find it more stressful not to look at my phone, because then I think to myself, “What if something’s gone wrong?”And often something has! I like to know what it is so I can fix it.
The first thing I check is my e-mails, then messages, Instagram, and Twitter. I used to do my social media completely on my own, but as of two months ago, I have someone on board to help me with content and videos. To start with, I was at home all the time so it was much easier, but now I’m running around all day like a crazy person so it’s hard to keep on top of it. There are days when the only thing I’ll eat all day is hummus and crackers as I go from one place to the next! I want to make sure I’m always giving my followers inspiring content.
I love Twitter for news, especially as I follow lots of newspapers and journalists, so you get it instantly – especially when something big is happening. I love that you can go from one person’s account to another and you can stumble across an amazing interview or a piece you would never have found otherwise. I also check the weather – I love the weather app – just so I know what to wear in the mornings.
I take probiotics as soon as I get up and before I leave the house. It’s a liquid and it tastes gross, but it’s been amazing! You’re not meant to have anything for about half an hour after you take that, so I then go to the gym. I can’t eat as soon as I wakeup, and I know some people say you shouldn’t workout without eating, but I’m not going to start getting up at 5 a.m.!
Once I get home after my workout, I’ll make breakfast. Some mornings it’s a quick bowl of porridge oats with banana and peanut butter, or I do love a good smoothie – especially if I know I’m running around for the rest of the day and I’m going to struggle to get in enough fruit and veg. I normally mix frozen banana, spinach, frozen berries, oats, almond butter, and almond milk, which is super easy and I can take it with me. I also love rye toast with banana and peanut butter or with avocado or hummus. I don’t really deviate from any of those breakfasts! I love the smell of coffee, but I don’t really like the taste, so I’ve never really gotten into it. I’m really boring – I just like water. I’m more about the food in the morning than the drink.
Then it’s time to shower. I wash my hair every single day, without fail. It’s non-negotiable for me! I don’t need to wear makeup or put on nice clothes, but for some reason, if I don’t wash my hair, I don’t feel good. Having clean hair just makes me feel great! I use lots of different things in the shower. There’s a really good hippy-ish brand called Faith in Nature, which is super natural and I love their coconut shampoo and conditioner. I wash my hair and then just leave it, as it normally dries on the walk to work. It also depends on how much time I have and if I’m chasing my tail to get out of the house!
I love Aromatherapy Associates body oils; they are amazing. I also recently got into Goop products. My friend lives in LA and, when I was last there for work, she made me try them. Now I’m obsessed! There’s one product that Gwyneth Paltrow apparently swears by, which is this exfoliating face mask. You put it on for three minutes and it’s pure magic for your face, so I use that three times a week. It’s incredible! I use a face oil and a moisturizer from Goop too, every morning. I’m like Goop’s number one fan at the moment! Before that, I’d use a simple Argan oil from Neal’s Yard Remedies.
I mostly use natural brands when it comes to makeup. I love RMS; their stuff is so nice – particularly their eye shadows and highlighter. Ilia’s foundation is incredible – it’s so light and just a layer makes you look so healthy. The mascara is great too. I wear makeup most days, but it really is a five-minute routine. It’s very simple – a facial oil, a moisturizer, a tiny bit of foundation, a bit of concealer under the eyes, mascara, a touch of highlighter, and RMS eyeshadow.
I’ve started listening to podcasts in the mornings. There’s one called ‘Girlboss’, which is really great. They’re quite new for me, but I’m really enjoying getting into them. Apart from that, we don’t really have music or the TV on; that’s more for when we get into bed at night. I don’t really love TV, but I like getting into a good series. I’ll get addicted to it for a few weeks, but then I’m okay to go without it for a bit. I also prefer to watch a whole series back to back. Homeland is my favorite ever, but I hate having to wait a week until the next one! I’m definitely more of a Netflix person.
We have a hundred different Whatsapp groups for the team. One for the deli, one for products, one for social media, and so on, so that’s always quite active and a way for me to manage my day. My assistant sends me a schedule of my day the night before, which is great as I know where I need to be and when. I can also see when I have time to breathe and check my e-mails! I’m obsessively organized and need to know what I have to do and where I need to be.
I like to choose my outfit the morning of, as you never know what the weather’s going to be like that day. It’s also quite nice to spend five minutes in the morning getting dressed. As I’ve grown and as the company has grown, I do more things that are quite nerve-racking and intimidating. For example, I often have to walk into a room full of strangers and talk to them, so feeling empowered and comfortable in what I’m wearing makes a huge difference to how I feel.
We recently moved house and now live really near a park, so every day my husband Matt and I walk with our dog Austin through the park to work. It’s been the most amazing addition to my life, to have that time to myself and to have fresh air. I love watching Austin run through the park and make friends with other dogs; it’s really calming and soothing before a stressful day. It’s the best way to start the day, and it’s really important for Matt and me as we know we have that time together every day. We’re not really on our phones; it’s just us and the dog. It’s my favorite part of the day.