We discovered Gisborne nutritionist Ella Swan ‘Bells’ on Instagram at @wellness_with_bells and were blown away by how tenacious, courageous and all round amazing this Kiwi gal is. So we thought we’d share her story here.
The 24-year-old grew up in Gisborne, with time spent in Waikato studying, then a stint living in Wellington, returning home once again to live in the city that’s first to see the sun. With all its beachy goodness, who can blame her?!
Bells’ true story however, is her ongoing triumph over endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) through living a healthy, mindful, balanced life. This is the story she wants to share so that people suffering with the same issues can get more inspiration and tools to help them through. And she’s swapped out other milks for Almond Breeze almond milk, so we’re chuffed about that!
Today self-confessed food obsessive Bells works with clients during the day, gives talks, hits the gym most days, and loves to create healthy, delicious recipes for everyone to enjoy. But what we love most of all is she’s created an ebook chocka with incredible sweet and savoury snack recipes – including rocky road, Anzac biccies, protein balls, crackers, hot cakes, Bounty bites, chocolate soft serve nice cream, beetroot and garlic hummus, and corn fritters – that are flavour-packed and add to a balanced, happy diet.
We found out more about this incredible inspiring young woman below!
1. You’re very open in social media sharing your endometriosis, IBS and surgery stories, for which we applaud you, can you share a little overview with us here?
Thank you! I am a firm believer in turning negative experiences into something positive hence why I am so open about my journey with endometriosis, IBS and surgery stories. If I can help people by sharing my story and spreading awareness then something good can come from it all!
2. What have you discovered that could help other women going through the same journey?
Talking about it! Often the above conditions are considered ‘taboo’ to talk about, however when it comes to health and wellness it’s super important to be open. A conversation could be the first step to someone seeking help.
3. Tell us a little about the endometriosis photoshoot you have scheduled for 14 and 15 December in Gisborne and how can people apply to join you?
I have organised a women’s health photoshoot* to help spread awareness around endometriosis, PCOS and all things that come with them. We are exploring both the negative and positive aspects of these conditions including pain, isolation, loneliness, depression, infertility etc as well as togetherness, hope, love, friendship and strength.
*The photos will be used for social media to promote women’s health; to take part in the shoot, DM Bells at @wellness_with_bells.
4. What does breezing the day mean to you, and how has making the most of opportunities shaped your life?
Breezing the day would mean doing all the things you love, surrounding yourself around positivity, kindness and people who lift you up! Every opportunity shapes you, even the negative ones. Learn from every opportunity and be grateful for the good and the bad stuff! Both shape you into who you are today.
5. You have your first recipe ebook out NOW**, can you tell us a little about that and what it means for you?
Yes, I sure can. I am a very passionate nutritionist and have a mad obsession with anything food related! With endo and IBS, I have a pretty strict diet that includes no dairy or gluten. I’ve had to get creative in the kitchen the last few years creating treats that are free from these things. I decided to make the ebook as a tool to help others who also have food intolerances – particularly for those who have endo and IBS. I’m stoked there was such a massive interest in it and I have already been sent lots of yummy photos of peoples goodies from my book!
6. How important is your health and wellness to you, and what do you do every day to keep balanced and happy?
Oh, health and wellness is absolutely everything! Without it, you can’t function optimally so it’s super important to take care of yourself. I am a firm believer in balance when it comes to both nutrition and exercise. Eat your greens but eat the chocolate cake with ZERO guilt, move your body regularly but have days where you relax and Netflix all day. Moderation is key.
7: What are your top THREE foolproof ways to live your best life that are a bit out of the box?
- BREATHE. Practice deep breathing. 10 deep breaths a day can change your world.
- Eliminate negativity where you can. Vibes attract vibes and honestly, you don’t need bad vibes in your life!
- Eat well! What you put in, you get out, nourish that body of yours with the things it loves!
8. What’s your no. 1 FAVOURITE Almond Breeze almond milk flavour and why?
OMGOODNESS. Chocolate Almond Breeze Almond Milk!!! It’s next level delish. I missed chocolate milk so much after going dairy free and I can honestly say that Almond Breeze Chocolate tastes better then the real deal.
9. What are you MOST excited about for the final 5 weeks of the decade and why?
Ooooh. I have lots to be excited about buttttt I’ll let you in on a little secret… I have applied for nursing and find out in a few weeks if I got in so that’s probably what I am most excited about!
10. We LOVE recipes here at Almond Breeze, do you have a favourite recipe (using Almond Breeze) that you can share with us?
Yes! My ebook uses Almond Breeze in almost every recipe, but my faves would probably be my ‘chocolate nice cream’ OR ‘berry nice cream’ recipe:
And fingers crossed Bells for your nursing training!!!
From our love of Almond Breeze almond milk to yours…
Discover more almondlicious recipes by clicking here!