What is “wellness”? Is it just the state of being physically “well”, or does it encompass more? My personal belief is that the idea of wellness includes being okay physically and mentally – which means something different for every person. So when it comes to blogging about this idea, it’s important to remember that my state of wellness may not be yours. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but when the ethical repercussions of wellness blogging come into question, the matter bears more scrutiny.
The article linked above, “Green is the New Black” by The Guardian, makes some pretty compelling arguments against the whole wellness blogging movement. And honestly, I can’t really blame the author… there are way too many online presences out there who misrepresent their knowledge, or even flat-out defraud their readers. The most notable example being, of course, the Belle Gibson scandal (for those of you who don’t know – Gibson was the voice behind The Whole Pantry, a blog promoting the whole-foods diet that allegedly “cured” Gibson of her cancer. Which, it turned out, she never really had).
But what the author seems to really take offense to is the plethora of skinny, white, young, nutritionally-uneducated women who dominate this blogging subculture. (Which is valid.) But as a white, young, nutritionally-uneducated woman myself, I feel the urge to defend those of us who genuinely love food and wellness and want to share it with the world.
My experience with food started at an early age, when I had serious stomach issues and was hospitalized many times for this condition. I visited nutritionists, GI specialists, psychologists, etc – with no concrete diagnosis. And after being administered virtually every test known to man (and only testing positive for one – lactose intolerance), I started my journey into “food as medicine”, hoping to alleviate my symptoms in whatever way I could. Despite the fact that I had tested negative for celiac, I cut gluten out of my diet entirely for a few months. However, that just made me feel off – my body was telling me that it wanted good, whole grains. And, according to my doctor (and science in general), it turned out that for me, as a non-celiac patient, gluten wasn’t the devilish ingredient that it was painted to be. So I tried every diet imaginable – Mediterranean, low-FODMAP, vegetarianism, low-carb, raw, etc – to no avail. Most of them felt too restrictive, anyway. But as I was bombarded by the new movements I was seeing online – gluten-free, oil-free, what have you – I felt more and more confused about what I was “supposed” to be eating.
Herein lies the danger of “wellness” blogging… for someone who may be trying to search for answers about their health, the amount of varying information across the internet can be intensely confusing. Personally, I wish the medical community at large would just have a huge symposium and say, “Okay- we all agree gluten is bad! Stop eating it!” or “Everyone stop eating dairy!”, because then we would all know what the truth really is. But it seems that for every study we see demonizing gluten, for example, we see three more studies explaining that it’s only bad for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. So what the hell are any of us supposed to believe?
My personal method of sifting through the information is to research information constantly, always searching for confirmation through more than one source. While my favorite source is the Harvard Medical School website, I don’t accept it as canon. Now when it comes to blogging about these findings, I never want to delude my readers into thinking I’m a nutritional expert by any means. While I did take advanced chemistry classes in college, I do not have a scientific education (my degree was in business). Everything I say should be viewed through that lens, and I encourage anyone reading my words to fact-check what I wrote and confirm the information for themselves.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the recipes I write about are tailored to my concept of wellness – it’s the only point of view from which I can write with absolutely certainty. I know what is right for my body, and what makes me feel well. However, like I said in the beginning of this post, my wellness may not be your wellness. Human bodies are so vastly different and varied that it would be silly to think a “one size fits all” approach can be applied to wellness.
My goal for Well and Full is to share my idea of wellness – not just recipes that make me feel well, but that contribute to my overall happiness as well (read: are yummy). But ultimately, you are responsible for what you choose for your body, and my recipes may not contribute to your wellness. Which is fine! Not everyone is the same, nor should they be. It’s what makes the world go round. :)
I love having banana ice cream as a snack or treat, especially on hot days. Made from potassium-rich bananas, this “ice cream” combines two of my favorite flavors – coffee and cacao – and blends them into a fluffy, creamy medium that eats like a dessert!
Mocha Chip Banana Ice Cream
- About 2 Medium Bananas sliced and frozen
- 1/3 Cup Iced Coffee black
- 1/8 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Tbs Coconut Nectar
- About 1/3 Cup Cacao Nibs chopped
Prep the bananas by slicing into thin disks (about 1/4-1/2 inch wide), then freezing for at least six hours (but preferably overnight).
In a food processor, pulse frozen bananas until the mixture becomes fluffy. You may have to scrape down the sides if any chunks of banana get stuck!
Add vanilla extract, coffee, coconut nectar, and cacao nibs to processor and mix for about a minute or less, or until ice cream is fully combined.
For a soft-serve texture, serve ice cream right away. For a harder ice cream, scoop the mixture into a bowl and let freeze for about a half hour.
Cacao nibs can be subbed for any vegan dark chocolate.
Coconut nectar can be subbed with maple syrup.
Song of the Day:
Please Let Me Wonder – The Beach Boys