I am 100% an ice cream girl. It was a staple in my house growing up, and in the summertime especially, I think I ate ice cream every day... I had a great childhood!
Unfortunately, eating ice cream every day now seems to take a greater toll on my health than it used to. So rather than sacrifice my love for frozen treats, I came up with something that satisfies those cravings and I can enjoy without worrying about the consequences!
This chocolate frosty recipe has become our Go-To treat at home when we want something yummy, easy, and lower calorie than most desserts. Especially in the summertime, these hit the spot!
Instructions: place all ingredients in your blender, and you guessed it... blend it up! ( you can use more or less liquid/frozen banana to get your desired consistency.)
**you can also do this recipe with not-frozen bananas, just add a few extra ice cubes and a little extra cocoa powder, honey and almond butter.
** we also really enjoy adding a couple shakes of cinnamon to it sometimes, or replacing the almond butter with peanut butter for a twist!
Enjoy, friends! Let me know what you think or any fun twists you come up with in the comments below!
Every 2 weeks, I share Total Bodi Enhance content that is geared toward overall wellness. It may be related to physical, emotional, mental, or any other kind of wellness.
This week, it just didn’t feel quite right to me to share a recipe or something like that in light of what’s been happening in our nation with the recent protests about police brutality, and specifically in response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others. It also seemed inauthentic to ignore it because it’s been a pretty big focus in my own wellness this past week.
As I reflected on how all of this has impacted my wellness this past week, I discovered what was (to me) a new form of wellness that I hadn’t really considered.
I’m calling it societal wellness.
For me, these are some of the things I think about in relation to societal wellness:
In this regard, I felt kind of unwell this week. It’s been really sad to see the pain expressed by so many regarding injustices and racial biases that still exist today, and especially to learn that protests for these same reasons have been going on for decades without any change. It’s been hard to see the rioting and looting as a way some (although the minority) have expressed that pain. It’s been painful to reflect on my own biases that I have and to face my lack of understanding and action to do anything about it.
While societal wellness is not totally in our control (just as diseases may put physical, mental, or emotional wellness outside of our total control), there are things we can do to improve our societal wellness (just as we can exercise, eat right, get good sleep, receive counseling, etc. to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally well).
My purpose in this post is not to draw attention to myself or use current events to build my business, but to really just share my family’s experience trying to be well this week. I am not an expert to speak on this, nor am I saying you should do what we did, but it seems relevant and hopefully useful.
I also realize many people have made this a political hot topic. I hope that doesn’t happen here. My family’s focus this week has been to pay attention to things that invite and entice us to do good, and helping get rid of racism in ourselves, our family, and (in some small way) our nation seems good to us.
Before this all happened, we had been discussing racism and the injustices black people face. A few months ago, Erik read Just Mercy and we later watched the movie. So it’s been something on our minds, but this past week has made us want to do more, learn more, and be better.
First, to provide some context, we’ve needed to really be honest with ourselves. We’ve been pretty clueless about what life is like for black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC). Erik and I both grew up in predominantly white, Christian, conservative communities. We went to predominantly white, Christian, conservative schools and attended predominantly white, Christian, conservative churches. I am not saying that is bad. On the whole, we are proud of and happy with our upbringings, but that was just the way it was. We never really had to, nor thought to, take the time to learn about BIPOC and what life is like for them.
With that context, Erik and I have tried to identify and talk about the biases we have. It can be hard to honestly face the biases within ourselves and tell ourselves we’ve been wrong to think that way. I’m not saying we’ve been intentionally racist, but I do make those little judgments or assumptions or labels for people based on how they appear, without knowing them at all, and it’s wrong.
Next, we’ve been trying to learn more about what black people have experienced for decades, even centuries, and trying to empathize to some degree. Some of this has been uncomfortable especially because I’m pretty sensitive to violent or graphic media. The whole “it’s just a movie” doesn’t really work in my mind, it all feels really real. In this case, I think that has been good for me because it is very real for so many black people, but still really hard. Here’s some of the specific things we’ve done to learn in an effort to empathize:
As we’ve learned more about what BIPOC have gone through and tried to empathize, we’ve wanted to do something. So far, here are some things we’ve done or plan on doing:
Our response hasn’t been perfect by any means, but this isn’t meant to compare responses. I really just wanted to share that societal wellness is a thing, that there are things we can do to improve our societal wellness, and what that has looked like for me and my family this week.
And honestly, even though it’s been uncomfortable and hard, it feels good. Rather than not paying attention or subconsciously thinking “it’s not my problem” I feel somewhat involved. I haven’t marched in a protest, but I’m doing things to change myself and some of my sphere of influence for the better, and that feels really good.
So, if you’ve felt a little unwell in relation to current events and think that rooting out racism is a good thing, know that we can do something for our personal experience of and contribution to societal wellness. Just like I would encourage you to be active, eat right, and take care of your body, mind, and spirit, let’s all do something to improve our societal wellness.
If you’ve looked at purchasing at-home workout equipment (especially dumbbells!) you may have noticed that it is in short supply! And whatever supply there is will cost you the very arm and leg you were trying to make stronger with the purchase.
Covid-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders have increased demand for fitness equipment dramatically. In normal times, you could typically get weights for between $1.00-1.50 per pound. Recently, I’ve seen people selling dumbbells for between $3.00-5.00 per pound!
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly shown how much we rely on gyms for exercise, which is not a bad thing. I LOVE teaching and attending classes at Shred 415, and gyms offer great equipment that we may not have access to otherwise.
BUT we don’t need access to a gym, or even a dumbbell to get a great workout in, and I’m talking about more than running, biking, hiking, etc. I mean a great STRENGTH workout.
Many of you have been asking me for ideas about how to adapt our Total Bodi workouts for when you don’t have dumbbells. This has become especially relevant now, because you would have a hard time finding any if you wanted to get any!
With that in mind, I decided to put together a small video series showcasing how you can use common household items to replace formal weights and still help you get an awesome workout in.
This first video showcases using waterbottles. These would help replace things you may do with lighter weights (such as shoulder exercises) and also serve as markers for HIIT workouts (jumping, plank taps, etc.).
Obviously, the bigger the bottle the heavier the weight, so you can adapt for your needs.
I’ll be creating and posting more videos to my Youtube channel showcasing how to use some of the following household items to help you get a great workout:
I’m just going to start by saying this blog post stems from a great need of mine, and is not necessarily something I am good at. I’m talking about sleep.
I guess I should correct myself and say I am actually pretty good at sleeping. I’d challenge just about anyone in a race to fall asleep, especially if Erik is talking about something he learned on one of his favorite finance or economics podcasts... but I am not good at getting enough sleep nor going to bed early.
We can probably all agree that research shows getting enough quality sleep does wonders for our emotions, mental capacity, productivity, physical health, stress levels... you name it, getting enough sleep probably helps with it.
I’m not going to go into that, but I wanted to share a podcast I listened to recently that changed my perspective on sleep.
Rachel Hollis is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, and motivational speaker. She has a podcast called RISE, and in episode 125, she talks about “How to Supercharge Your Morning Routine.”
Now, we all have our challenges when it comes to getting sleep and having a “supercharged” morning routine.
Maybe you’re a new mama and Baby is waking up every hour (If that’s you - girl, do whatever you want. I am praying for you!). Perhaps you have a job that requires a lot of time, are a full-time student, are heavily involved in your community, or have any combination of all of these... or something completely different!
Point is - we all have challenges, things that take up time, and demands that make it hard to care for ourselves the way we should and (let’s be honest) the way we would like to.
So, if you’re like me, whenever you hear about the need to get sleep, you long to be able to create a life in which you get all the sleep you need, but it just doesn’t pan out as reality.
It seems that sleep can sometimes be that thing that is easy to give up in the name of productivity or having fun with others, but eventually it catches up with us… and then we are no longer productive. Or fun.
Rachel presented something that gave me a new perspective on this, though. She talks about how most of us have “me-time” in the last hours of the day. However these hours are often when we are exhausted, and so it’s hard to motivate ourselves to do much other than watch Netflix or scroll on Instagram.
Been there. Doing that.
She says that rather than giving ourselves the “crumbs” of our day, why not give ourselves the morning hours when we are fresh and energized and can make our “me-time” meaningful?
That made me pause.
Recently, Erik and I have been putting the girls down around 8, and then working on Total Bodi or some other random thing until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. As Rachel says, it takes about 1-2 hours to wind down and get to bed. That makes getting up to record workout videos rough (represented by all those bonus reps you guys get when I can’t keep track!). ;)
She suggests going to bed early and waking up really early so that our “me-time” is a priority and happens during some of our most productive hours of the day.
While it will take some adjusting and won’t be an overnight game changer (pun intended), I believe this kind of schedule will make us more productive, efficient, and energized during our day.
Rachel also suggests having a morning routine that is sacred to us. It should involve planning, being intentional about our goals and how to bring it for that day, and include some physical activity.
I want to be this awesome. We all have to start somewhere. For me, I gotta start with some sleep.
Like I said, we all know the desire to get more sleep. We’ve likely all made efforts to get more sleep. But maybe seeing it as enabling yourself to give yourself your best time (rather than the crumbs) of your day will motivate you to make the changes as it has for me.
So, the short answer? To get more sleep, go to bed early. Then get up early and be productive so you can keep going to bed early. :)
Let's do this together! Check out the podcast with these links, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. I wrote this last week and Erik and I made the goal of going to bed earlier and using our mornings more during this week. At 9:30 p.m. last night, and after a wonderful Mother’s Day, talking to family and spending time with the girls, we were finally planning out our week and starting to work those random side tasks we always have on our lists.
Then Erik turned to me and said, “Let’s just go to bed. We can plan in the morning.” It seemed weird to me at first, but we did it and I can honestly say I’m digging this morning thing! I got nearly 7 hours of sleep, which is an improvement for me, and I’m feeling good!
Links to the podcast:
Let’s talk strength training. I know it’s becoming a more commonly known and accepted idea that strength/weight training is for everyone and has many health benefits! But… what exactly are those benefits??
Just like most things in life, it’s hard to invest in and be motivated to do something if you don’t know why. So I’m going to outline some “why’s” for you, with the intent that it will ultimately help you find YOUR why.
First, I want to explain my “why” because I used to be pretty indifferent toward strength training.
I didn’t want to get bulky; I didn’t really know what exercises to do; and I thought that if I didn’t sustain a certain heart rate for the entirety of my workout (like during a run), I wasn’t getting as much work in, expending as much energy, or (honestly) burning as many calories.
All of those ideas were incorrect. Here’s why:
Here are some (of many) examples to show you what these movements look like in everyday life and in exercise:
Those three points debunked what my concerns were, but that’s not even all of the awesome benefits we can gain from strength training!
Gaining physical strength and challenging myself in this way has crossed over into mental, emotional, and even spiritual strength. I believe that our bodies house our spirits and the more we strengthen and care for our physical bodies, the better our spirits can thrive!
These are some of the main reasons why Total Bodi focuses on strength training. There are so many health benefits, as well as just lifestyle benefits. I can also say that there are some huge confidence benefits as well.
If I had to sum it up in one word, what I hope you will gain from participating in my Total Bodi program is that you feel EMPOWERED. Empowered to challenge those misconceptions about yourself, your circumstances, and what you can and can’t do; EMPOWERED to accomplish your goals, do hard things, lift those heavy weights and get in 1 more rep; and most of all EMPOWERED to be your best self and be happy doing it!
So, if you haven't already, try the Total Bodi free week trial, and see how strength training can challenge you in new ways! If you're in the program, reflect on YOUR "why" and share in the comments below! With strength training you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
A lot of people are stuck at home. There is a lot we can’t do right now because of social distancing initiatives, but there’s still a lot that we can do.
Times like this can also be tough on people mentally and emotionally, not just socially. I’m no different, so to stay sane and happy, I wrote up a quarantine bucketlist to keep me busy and enjoying life.
Here it is!
Have an iron chef night. Choose 1 or 2 ingredients that each person/team has to use in a dish. (No recipes allowed) Whoever’s tastes better, wins!
Have a dance party! (you could get serious with this and make invites for family members and even dress up!) We have dance parties on the daily in our house. They’re a great way to get energized, move your body, let loose, and wear out your kids if you have them!
Write and send letters to family and friends
We’re socially distancing, but we don’t have to be emotionally distant from our loved ones.
Indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt
The thrill of the hunt is well… thrilling! Especially for young children.
Easter Basket scavenger hunt clues: free printables here to make your Easter scavenger hunt a little more Pinterest-worthy.
Go to the “Zoo”! Gather up all your kids’ stuffed animals, put them in different areas around the house, and take a tour. Get the full zoo experience by looking up fun facts about each one as you go! (my awesome sister-in-law's idea!) Or you can watch live feeds of animals at zoos around the country! Here’s a link to watch them.
Take a Virtual Tour! There are so many zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, etc. doing live footage, virtual tours, or some sort of online public access. What a great time and cool opportunity to virtually “get out” and learn/see something new! Here’s a link to a page highlighting some great options: Virtual tours
The floor is lava I want my life to be a game of “the floor is lava”! Lol This cracks me up every time! Link to video
Spring Cleaning! This is a perfect time to declutter and get rid of things you don’t need or use. When you’re stuck in your house 24/7, you become a bit more aware of messes and all your things.
I don’t know about you, but I am about to go from sentimental saver to minimalist.
Bake a new recipe If you want some great ideas, my idol, Joanna Gaines, just released her new recipe book, Magnolia Table vol. 2!! Order it on Amazon, here!
Nerf gun war: we call this couple’s therapy in our home :)
Buy and learn a new board game. Our most recent new game: Photosynthesis.
Indoor pool party (bath): I was swimsuit shopping the other day (online) and then I had the thought… what if we never even go to a pool this summer?! I decided we would just have to either do it in the bathtub or get a kiddie pool (depending on weather). I WILL have my pool days!
Indoor bowling: use water bottles and a ball, or purchase a set from Amazon here.
Lawn games! Here are some of our favorites with links to purchase:
Binge-watch I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show! I will feel totally satisfied with myself if all you ever gain from me is exposure to these two shows… quality entertainment right here!
Learn a new skill: YOUTUBE How to’s! Learn a choreographed dance, paint or draw something, new hairstyles, nail painting, sewing, calligraphy, scrapbooking, handstand, juggle, magic tricks…
Nobody can do everything, so why not better yourself by picking up something new?
Home projects… get rid of things too!
Potty train! I know this doesn’t apply to everyone, but, this one hit me the other day… there will probably never be better circumstances to potty train my 2-year-old, so if you want to join me we can give each other moral support?!
Read a book! I got a lot of these suggestions from a Total Bodi Member (Ashley Hansen) who is a school counselor and avid reader! I’m excited to try some of her favorites myself!
Where the Crawdads Sing
All the light We Cannot See
Boys in the Boat
Harry Potter (again)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Nothing to See Here
Ask Again, Yes
All Your Perfects
Chalk Mosaic: Whether you end up with the Sistine chapel or something that your 2-year-old could have drawn, it’s still a lot of fun. Here’s an example of the possibilities!
Learn Magic Tricks (Youtube’s got your back!) If you do this, you HAVE to send me a video or post and tag me! I’m a sucker for a good trick ;)
Tie Dye! Never gets old…
Well, if you didn’t have fun things to fill your time with before, you do now! Tag @ang_harris_ with any of your photos or videos working on this bucket list!
*These pancakes are gluten and dairy-free!
This is one of our all-time favorite breakfasts! These pancakes are easy to make, they’re a healthy alternative to traditional pancakes, and they’re absolutely delicious! After all, what is food if it’s not fun to eat?
I hope you love it as much as we do!
The recipe is at the bottom of the blog, but feel free to read the “Your Food as Fuel” and “Why we like them” sections for more information about why we choose our PB banana oat blender pancakes over traditional ones.
Your Food as Fuel
Pancakes are one of the most iconic breakfasts out there and for good reason. They’re delicious! The problem is that a lot of pancake recipes are very carb-heavy.
As a note, carbohydrates are not inherently bad. We need carbohydrates to function properly, but we also need to make sure we have a balanced diet.
By balancing our diet, we get the energy and nutrients we need in optimal proportions for proper and efficient utilization in our body. It’s when we have too much excess of certain nutrients that we run into trouble.
As an example, a car needs gas and motor oil to run properly. Adding a bunch of extra gas doesn’t fill your tank any more than its capacity, it just makes a mess, and you still need motor oil!
Now, on to pancakes!
The carbohydrates in typical pancakes are quickly broken down into simple sugars by your body’s digestive system. The sugars that your body doesn’t immediately use for energy are stored as fat.
That means that eating too many carbs and simple sugars can make weight loss or maintenance more difficult than it already is. Achieving a good carb balance is important.
Why we like these pancakes
If you look through the following ingredient list, you’ll notice that flour and sugar are not on the list! These two ingredients in pancakes are their biggest source of carbohydrates.
By replacing the flour and sugar with oats and banana, we essentially replace all the traditional simple carbs (that are broken down quickly and create excess energy, stored as fat) with complex carbohydrates (that take longer and require more work to break down, so they release energy over time for your body to utilize more efficiently). And I promise you, it comes at no sacrifice of flavor!
This PB banana oat blender pancake recipe is delicious. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it helps balance your diet to help your body feel better throughout the day.
People with gluten and dairy restrictions can also enjoy this iconic breakfast because this recipe is totally gluten and dairy-free.
Prep Time: 8 min
Yield: 10 4 in. pancakes
1 ripe banana (all yellow or with some brown)
2 TB peanut butter
¾ c milk (or almond milk)
⅓ c apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp coconut oil
2 C oats
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Try it out, and let me know what you think!
My name is Angela. I am a wife to a rock-star husband, and a mom to two beautiful baby girls. My family will always be my number 1!
Total Bodi is something I have dreamed of creating for years - it would be a big understatement to say I’m excited for you to try it out and be a part of this program.
Fitness and exercise have always played a huge role in my life. They are central to the upkeep of my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Exercising as a mom is HARD!
When I became a mom, I struggled feeling like I was so limited in what I could do. My life was not my own anymore, and going to the gym or exercising very long was difficult given our circumstances.
I could feel myself becoming more anxious, stressed, tired, irritable, depressed, lonely... you name it.
Then I had a sobering realization that if I waited for ideal circumstances when it would become convenient to exercise, it would never happen. So, I decided that there had to be a way to make it work, because I NEEDED it to work.
I’ve found that in life, if something is important enough to you, you can generally find a way to make it happen. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it will almost always be worth it.
I used to only call myself a runner/cardio-buff. Strength training was definitely not my favorite, and I treated it like my “due diligence broccoli.”
I’d do a few reps of random exercises and a few minutes of core a couple times a week and call it good! But when my situation changed, I realized that I needed to adapt.
I still LOVE to run and take my girls out in the jogger, but sometimes, given my time constraints, that's just not an option. In these cases, I can maximize my time with a strength-oriented or high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout from home.
This was such a revelation to me! I began to really enjoy doing strength and HIIT style workouts and feeling my body get stronger in new ways. It was so fun to switch up my workouts and get sore, and I realized that exercise doesn’t always have to be the same.
My body loved being challenged in new ways all the time, and I think that’s something we all have a bit of. We are designed for progression; we thrive on it!
By pushing myself with new workouts, different weights, or more reps/sets, I could see and more importantly feel myself progressing through the challenge of it all.
My physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health were SO much improved. All this was from simple and challenging workouts that I could do in about 30 minutes at home!
As my oldest has gotten older, she’s begun to try and mimic my exercises and join in. It is so fun to include her in something that I love and is important to me.
The Birth of Total Bodi
During this time, I realized that I’m not the only person with a crazy schedule or circumstances that make it difficult to get a good workout in! That is how Total Bodi was born.
I want to make quality workouts and fitness accessible to anyone! There’s a TedTalk I love by Dan Ariely called “How to Change Your Behavior for the Better”. In it, he talks about the role of friction in behavior change.
Friction is essentially anything (big or small) that is keeping us from doing some behavior. My goal is to eliminate some of the friction that keeps you from getting the exercise you need and feeling how you want to feel.
The Purpose of Total Bodi
Here are some of the ways the Total Bodi program will do that:
This program’s sole intent is to allow you to THRIVE in all areas of your life. Ultimately, we'll be helping each other succeed because there is a special power that comes from community.
So welcome, again! And cheers to investing into yourself. Know that I am committed to you and you should be too! Let's do this!