Meet Ellie Bullen, or as she likes to be called, Elsa. You might recognise her from one of the most colourful and inviting feeds on Instagram, the feed that’s filled with ravishing raw treats and wholesome vegetarian dishes. We’re such a fan of this passionate young foodie that we even featured one of her mouth-watering creations in our new chocolate e-Book, Sweet Like Chocolate. We sat down with the budding nutritionist and creator of Elsa’s Wholesome Life to find who or what inspires her culinary adventures and how she likes to Move, Nourish and Believe…
What ignited your desire to create a wholesome life?
I loved the way eating wholesome foods and getting out and active made my body feel, so energized and alive, and so I wanted to share my wholesome life with hope to inspire others to create a wholesome life and discover how amazing it feels.
What is your favourite dish to make?
I love digging around my fridge and cupboard to make big abundant rainbow veggie bowls. It’s always an experiment with different veggies each time, plus it saves waste, and always tastes amazing.
You’re a healthy role model to so many, who are your role models?
There are so many, I have many accounts that I follow that continuously inspire me, Deliciously Ella was one of the first blogs I discovered and I still drool over her recipes. Some of my other favourite healthy role models are Luise Vindahl from Green Kitchen Stories and Loni Jane.
What would you say your life mantra is?
Begin each day with a grateful heart.
What is your food philosophy?
Love your body and soul by living a wholesome life; eating the foods that nature has provided us with, eating the colours of the rainbow, and enjoying all things in moderation.
What are three foods you couldn’t live without?
Pineapple, Sweet Potato, and Avocado…
What advice would you give to other people wanting to make a healthy, more natural change in their lives?
Start small, make little changes at a time, and once these changes become apart of your life, then make more.
What imprint would you like to leave on the wellness industry?
I would like to have my own published recipe book so that many can bring it into their kitchen and create nourishing food for themselves and their families, and I would like to be a dietician that has helped and inspired many people to get healthy and live a wholesome life.
You’ve got 24 hours in a day – what does a typical day of Move, Nourish, Believe look like (from when you get up to when you go to sleep)…
MOVE: First things first, when I wake up, I love to get outside and run. I love getting up before the sun and going for a long run along the beach, followed by some stretching. Some afternoons I enjoy Pilates and Yoga at a local studio. My time getting active is so important to me, it makes me calmer and happier.
NOURISH: Well breakfast sure is the most important meal of the day, and probably my favourite too. I love making smoothies, smoothie bowls, and other weird and wonderful fruity creations. In winter I find myself eating warm oats every morning. During the day I usually eat pretty simple as I’m busy at uni or work, I like to snack on fruit, salads, nuts, etc. and dinner time is where I love to get creative, I try to make my dinners vibrant and full of veggies, I also love adding different kinds of legumes and grains. Experimenting every day mean it never gets dull.
BELIEVE: My time spent exercising is where I am able to put most of my energy into loving myself. Yoga helps me take time to thank my body and clear my mind. When I have time off you will almost always either find me in my kitchen experimenting with a new recipe for the blog, or sitting on the beach under a big hat with a book. These moments give my life balance and are good for the soul.
What’s next for ElS? Tell us about your wildest, most beautiful plans…
Well for the next two years I will be finishing my Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, while continuing to grow my blog. After that I hope to venture overseas for some time before returning and getting focused on my career. In the distant future I’d love to see myself running my own private Dietetics practice, a place where people can come and get health advice, eat nourishing food from my café next door and practice yoga/pilates in the studio above. I want to create a space that encompasses all parts of wholesome living.
Elsa’s Ultimate Veggie Burgers
Makes approx. 8 large patties
- ½ cup diced onion (I’ve used spring onion)
- ¼ cup packed chopped coriander
- 1 cup grated zucchini (approx. ½ large zucchini)
- 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) drained and mashed with a fork
- 1 cup roasted and mashed pumpkin (or approximately ¼ butternut pumpkin)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 diced garlic cloves
- ½ diced red chilli
- 1 flax egg or 1 organic egg (non vegan option)
Extras for the burger:
- sourdough rolls (I pick mine up from the local organic bakery)
- baby spinach leaves
- sliced red onion
- sliced tomato
- grated carrot
- grated beetroot
- avocado mashed with lime and pepper
- grilled eggplant
- sliced cucumber
To have on the side:
sweet potato fries (sweet potato roasted in olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt).
How to make the patties:
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees fan forced, line a baking tray with baking paper, place the pumpkin on the tray, toss in olive oil, sprinkle over the cumin seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt and place in the oven to bake.
- Add the onion, coriander, zucchini, chickpeas, garlic, chilli, and egg (flax egg or hens egg) to a mixing bowl and mix.
- Once the pumpkin is baked soft, mash with a fork and add to the mixing bowl, combine the ingredients well.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and scoop out handful size balls of the mixture, place on the baking tray and flatten/shape into burger patties (see picture above)
- Either cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge (if cooking them later), or heat up a fry pan on medium heat, add a swirl of olive oil, and place 2 patties in a pan at a time, fry on one side, then flip to the other side after at least 3 minutes. Cook the patties until your desired crispy-ness.
Elsa is a 21 year old health foodie/ blogger from the small coastal town of Lennox Head. She’s in her third year of a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and for the past 18 months she’s been channeling her passion for living a wholesome life into sharing it over Instagram. She loves creating nourishing recipes, making food into artwork, and exploring all of natures treasures.