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.
Coconut nectar can be subbed with maple syrup.
Song of the Day:
Please Let Me Wonder – The Beach Boys
genevieve @ gratitude & greensJuly 16, 2015 at 10:43 am
I’ve been meaning to write a post on wellness and what wellness means to me, too! And I couldn’t have summed it up better. I heard about the Guardian article from one of my friends but haven’t actually read it yet, so I’m going to do that now. I think people need to be able to take a step back and actually look at all the research, because everyone’s body is different. The media sensationalizes so much and it’s hard to tell what is based on actual scientific research. People need to discover what makes them feel the best physically and emotionally before hopping onto a bandwagon that might not even suit them. I don’t know if you’ve read In Defense Of Food by Michael Pollan (Food Rules by Michael Pollan is a shorter version of this) but his book got me into plant-based wellness and I think you would really like it :)
I’ve been eating banana ice cream for breakfast almost every day for the past two weeks now so I’ve got to try this! I love coffee too much for my own good and I just can’t resist coffee ice cream!
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 11:06 am
Hey Genevieve! I really appreciate your comment. I think the Guardian article serves a great purpose in that it makes us question our values and ethics. However, I feel like it ignores some of the positive effects wellness blogging has had on the population at large. Thanks to this movement, more Americans (and people all over the world) are stopping to consider what they’re eating, making healthier and more ethical choices. And while some bloggers definitely do exploit this trend, many of us are just geniunely excited to share our love of food and wellness! So it’s important to make that distinction. :)
lynsey | lynseylovesfoodJuly 16, 2015 at 10:50 am
what a well written post. I haven’t read that article but am going to now. I have so many thoughts on this as well that i need to digest before i can comment more, but i do love and appreciate your take on this. xo
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 11:02 am
Thank you, Lynsey, that means a lot to me! I would definitely recommend reading the Guardian article, even though it is very critical of wellness bloggers. Reading the disparate thoughts of others is how I try to keep my mind open :)
Kathryn @ The Scratch ArtistJuly 16, 2015 at 12:39 pm
Great post. I am all about banana ice cream. I just made a version on my blog last week. I also loved what you wrote about wellness. It has been a challenge for me to kick the habit of looking externally for health and wellness guidance rather than internally. When I get wrapped up in hearing that this thing is bad and this thing is good and you should have “x” thing but not “y” thing it makes me nuts. When I am the most well and satisfied with the way I am eating it is because I have looked internally to find what is right for me. Of course there is a necessary balance that needs to be struck so as not to isolate oneself from useful information. But I hear you! And I think there are so many of us bloggers looking to share what has worked for us without trying to tell others that it will work for them. My intent in writing my blog is to express what is true for me and what has worked for me and to inspire others to find what is right for them. I don’t have any answers for anybody. I think the best way to support others is helping them see they have their own answers by asking good questions. Anyway…great post and I’m glad there are people like you out there.
WellAndFullJuly 17, 2015 at 8:26 am
Hi Kathryn!! I really enjoyed reading your response to my post. Hearing about all the different things that are good/bad online (which are constantly changing) drives me insane!! But it sounds like you have an amazing intention in writing your blog – sharing your passion with the world in a way that’s supportive and encouraging. I’m glad there are people out there like you too :)
CircahappyJuly 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm
Thank you so much for sharing the link, Sarah. I read the article and understand both point of views, yours & the author. It’s quite controversial to talk about ‘wellness’ when the concept has been deciphered in many different ways. Nevertheless, both informations are very informative, and your recipes are wonderful :) I say, I will make your ice cream before running out to get ‘hubby chubby’ any day. :)
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm
Wellness is different for every person! I personally would never tell someone “this will make you feel better” or “this is the right thing for you”. All I can speak to are my own experiences! I think it’s important for everyone – whether you are a blogger or a reader – to think critically, question everything, and constantly evaluate your own concept of wellness. :)
AmyJuly 16, 2015 at 5:12 pm
Hi, I would love to try the bananna ice cream. When do you exactly add the iced coffee ? I don’t see it coming up in the instructions. Thanks! :)
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 5:17 pm
You add it once you’ve first blended the bananas! :)
The Vegan 8July 16, 2015 at 6:44 pm
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed of all the different things written online these days and how they are always so conflicting! I simply go by how I feel and what I do know for a fact is good for me. I don’t let too many other outside voices affect me or stress me out with worry because I think the excessive worrying is worse!
Anyways, beautiful ice cream! Love the addition of coffee and cacao nibs. oh my gosh that sounds amazing!
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 8:25 pm
Hey Brandi! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I’m a huge fan of yours :) And YES to listening to your body. Ultimately we are the only ones who are responsible for our state of wellness, and being in tune with your body is the best way to figure out what’s right for you! Excessive worrying just leads to stress and makes everything worse.
Jessie Snyder | Faring WellJuly 16, 2015 at 7:07 pm
First of all, you’re killing me with these photos. Like crazy gorgeous. I woke up to this post and started drooling – I wanted to lick my screen so bad! Thankfully I had had a cup of coffee before, though, so it had started to kick in and tell me “noooo Jessie, that screen is not for licking” ;).
Secondly, I absolutely loved your writing in this post. I really appreciated your thoughts and hearing what you have gone through, and how it has shaped you and your idea of wellness. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! <3
WellAndFullJuly 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm
Ahahaha you slay me, girl. Trust me, I know the screen-licking urge, I get it every time I stop over at Faring Well ;) And thank you so much for your note on my post! I really wanted to give my own perspective of why I’m so motivated to write about healthy eating and wellness, so it means a lot of me that you appreciated it :)
Casey @ Casey the College CeliacJuly 16, 2015 at 8:48 pm
Great post! “Wellness” really is such a tricky topic to tangle with, but I loved your view on it. And that banana ice cream flavor? HEAVEN!!!!!
WellAndFullJuly 17, 2015 at 8:39 am
Thanks Casey!! :)
KathrynJuly 17, 2015 at 3:42 am
Thanks for sharing your perspective here – I really enjoyed reading it (and thank you also for your insightful comment on my blog post which was talking about a similar thing). I really appreciate your take on what ‘wellness’ means to you and the fact that I know that I’m going to find recipes here that will make me feel full in all senses of the word. I’m all for celebrating food – be it a doughnut or a salad – and always value blogs like yours which offer to add so much to my food-life rather than subtract from it.
WellAndFullJuly 17, 2015 at 8:39 am
Hi Kathryn! I’m such a big fan of London Bakes so I was really excited to see that you stopped by over here. I loved reading your opinion on the Guardian article, and it really made me think about my own interpretation of wellness. My personal ethos is to try to shift away from the whole concept of wellness in conjunction with dieting, and instead focus on what makes you physically and mentally well. Even if that means eating a doughnut (something that may be deemed as “unhealthy” to someone else) – eat the damn donut!! When I went to Denver a few weeks ago, I had way more vegan Voodoo doughnuts than I’m proud of admitting.. but you know what? I was happy as a clam sitting there with my boyfriend, stuffing my face with the chocolate-on-chocolate Diablos Rex doughnut. It’s so awesome to see other people out there who share that kind of thinking!! :)
Alex Caspero MA,RD (@delishknowledge)July 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm
Great post! I loved the idea of “your” concept of Wellness. Even though I AM a Registered Dietitian and have a few degrees in nutrition and exercise, I still know that I am going to rub against other people’s definition of Wellness- and that’s OK. Sure, in my private practice I can dive deep into clients personal wellness goals but on my blog? I just share my personal recipes/life/stories and what makes me feel well. This ice cream looks so good! Can’t wait to try it!
WellAndFullJuly 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm
That’s awesome, Alex! Personally I love reading the nutritional snippets in your recipes (and just the recipes themselves…. buffalo chickpea wraps anyone??) Since you’re an RD, I feel really confident when I read your recipes and ideas about wellness. :)
Kennedy Cole|KCole's Creative CornerJuly 18, 2015 at 8:14 am
This looks soooooooo good! I would love to get my hands on a big bowl of that right now ;)Thanks for sharing! :D
WellAndFullJuly 18, 2015 at 10:11 am
Thanks Kennedy! :)
Kiwi PhaseJuly 18, 2015 at 11:59 am
The idea of wellbeing is such a broad concept that everyone has their own definition. This is where the differing opinions come in place, where some people recommend eating dairy, while others do not. The important thing is to stay true to your own definition and that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Awesome recipe, will be trying soon!
WellAndFullJuly 18, 2015 at 1:42 pm
Thank you!! It’s like what I said in my post, my wellness may not be your wellness! Everyone is different and we all have to do what’s right for ourselves. Hope you like the ice cream! :)
Julia @ Sprinkled With JulesJuly 18, 2015 at 9:20 pm
It’s so hard to discern between all the health fads and real wellness sometimes. I definitely think that moderation, and seeing what personally works individually is the best way to go. I love the combination of flavors you have going on in this ice cream! It sounds great.
WellAndFullJuly 19, 2015 at 10:13 am
Absolutely! I couldn’t agree more :) And thank you!
Cady | Wild Heart of LifeJuly 18, 2015 at 9:53 pm
Agh! Agh! I relate to this so much. I don’t want to push my diet on anyone, but I feel compelled to share the only lifestyle change that can mitigate the stomach problems that have plagued me. Also, I would never complain about a good banana ice cream recipe ;) Thank you for sharing!
WellAndFullJuly 19, 2015 at 10:12 am
Haha I’m glad you can relate! That’s actually what I was going for in my post – I want to share the food that has helped me with my stomach problems, in hopes that it can help someone else! I never intend to judge or proselytize anyone. I love your intention, Cady – it’s people like you who give wellness blogging a good reputation :)
cheriJuly 19, 2015 at 12:02 am
I had banana ice cream once many years ago and had never tasted anything similar to it since, this sounds very familiar. Beautiful post.
WellAndFullJuly 19, 2015 at 10:13 am
Hope you like it, Cheri!
Tropical Fruit Chia PuddingJuly 19, 2015 at 11:48 pm
[…] think alike, right?! She recently started her blog and you should all pay her a visit. I made her mocha chip banana ice cream last week and it was the bomb […]
Robin KimJuly 20, 2015 at 12:01 am
I forget how I stumbled on this blog but glad I did! As a big foodie and advocate of healthy eating (in both physical and mental terms) I feel as though I have a lot of researching to do. And I love this recipe and the beautiful closeup photos! If you haven’t done so, I would love to read a post on photo editing and blogging tips.
WellAndFullJuly 20, 2015 at 8:31 am
Thank you so much, Robin!! Honestly I am floored that you would want tips on photography… I feel like I still have so much to learn about photography in general! I don’t know if I’m quite ready to devote a whole post to the subject, but for the moment I can tell you that I have a Canon camera with an 50mm f/1.8 lens, and I do my editing in Adobe Lightroom with the help of VSCO ;)
Aimee / Wallflower GirlJuly 20, 2015 at 4:27 pm
First of all, this looks incredible! And secondly, I agree with you whole-heartedly about how wellness is tailored to each individual. I never trust someone who claims 100% to know what is best for others to eat, drink or how to behave because the concept of what is healthy is forever-changing, not just through the information we learn but for what’s relevant to ourselves at the time. I love being inspired by other blogger’s food and health journeys though, especially when they have such wonderful recipes, photography and writing like yours!
WellAndFullJuly 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm
Thank you so much for your note, Aimee! As weird as this sounds, I really appreciate your appreciation for wellness bloggers with good intentions! ;) I love being inspired by other bloggers like McKel from Nutrition Stripped or Emily from This Rawsome Vegan Life. Even though McKel is an actual RD, she has such an amazingly joyful and open approach to eating for wellness! And Emily’s food is as close to nature as food can get :)
Link Love -July 21, 2015 at 4:02 am
[…] //You know how I love my banana soft serve . . . try out this great recipe for Mocha Chip Banana Ice Cream! […]
michelle reganJuly 21, 2015 at 9:09 am
Thank you for the link to the article. It was really interesting! Your ice cream looks superb! xoxo
WellAndFullJuly 21, 2015 at 10:35 am
Thank you Michelle! :)
Blissful Summer SaladJuly 22, 2015 at 11:06 am
[…] of London Bakes and Sarah of Well and Full both wrote great responses to the Guardian piece I spoke about […]
DysonAugust 9, 2015 at 1:03 am
I used a Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie bag mix for the cookies. I used plain vanilla ice cream bc it’s much cheaper and I didn’t want people to suffer from banana overload.
AllisonAugust 11, 2015 at 9:29 am
This recipe looks amazing. Pinning for later!
SarahAugust 14, 2015 at 12:50 pm
Thanks Allison! :)
Jessie @ Chasing BelleAugust 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm
I just recently got into banana ice cream and I absolutely love it! I had never heard of Coconut Nectar before so I am very intrigued to try this out!
SarahAugust 15, 2015 at 8:31 pm
I’d definitely recommend giving it a try!! It tastes almost caramel-y, it’s a very sweet and rich flavor :)
KJ | OmnomherbivoreSeptember 3, 2015 at 12:16 am
I love adding coffee to any dessert (or banana ice cream for that matter). Your pictures look amazing :) And you bring up such a solid point about wellness perspective and blogging!
SarahSeptember 3, 2015 at 7:46 am
Thank you KJ!! :D
FaridaSeptember 6, 2015 at 12:14 am
I love your honesty, and your definition of wellness! It is great that people are still looking for the truth themselves without going into the trends of some diet! Good luck in your journey, and you photos are fascinating!
SarahSeptember 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm
Thank you, Farida! :D
Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)September 28, 2015 at 11:37 pm
I just can’t get enough of banana nice cream, and this one looks seriously good. OMG! :)
SarahSeptember 29, 2015 at 10:57 am
It’s coffee and banana ice cream, where can you go wrong!? ;)
Jolie BrewerMarch 10, 2016 at 10:17 am
Thanks for sharing
SarahMarch 10, 2016 at 1:49 pm
You’re welcome! :)
Dairy Free Mocha Chip Banana Ice Cream Recipe Soya FreeMarch 27, 2016 at 4:15 pm
[…] you try this Dairy Free Mocha Chip Banana Ice Cream Recipe, please head over to Well and Full and let Sarah know what you think in the comments section. […]