The other day, my friend asked me how I started eating and living healthy. I’ve said it time and time again, growing up my mom always made home cooked meals every night that featured fresh and wholesome ingredients. Her rule was “always eat 3 bites of your vegetables!” and those vegetables were rarely soaked in cheese or grease. She did, of course, let us have our oreos, pop tarts and frosted brownies but never promoted it. It wasn’t until I started feeling cruddy in high school that I realized I wanted to change my lifestyle.
Of course, like most young teenage girls, I dove head first into low calorie and no carbohydrates vs. real food. Once I started reading about health online and through Tumblr (laughing out loud to the days when I got my nutrition knowledge off of a teenage blog site), I found out there was so much more to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle than I thought.
Fast-forward from Tumblr in high school to Instagram in college, I have now encountered so many influential and inspiring ladies from the web that have truly given me insight into so many aspects of health, lifestyle and wellness overall. Out of the many people I engage with through my brand, it was definitely hard to narrow down to ten who are better than any other ten. If I could I would probably list off 20+ ladies. However, when it comes down to it, these ladies are true social influencers I believe you all should know about (if you don’t already).
1. Courtney Swan/@realfoodology
I started telling my friend the other day how in high school I became infatuated with concert photography long before food photography was a thing. I was that girl that was into All Time Low and owned maybe 20+ band shirts and bracelets. Along with that, I followed all of my favorite bands on Facebook and Tumblr. This is how I somehow ended up on Courtney’s then blog (who previously toured with a band called The Summer Set). She was the real first health role model I found who made me focus on whole foods rather than calories and faux “health” products.
Even now, I’m a huge fan of her Instagram and funny “What The Fork?” posts. She is a prime example of someone who genuinely cares about the nutrition and health of others and wants to better the world by providing Americans with the education they deserve. She’s also awesome because she’s a fellow supporter of Vega, saying yes to cashew milk ice cream and no to diet soda/artificial sweeteners. You can check out her own website, Realfoodology, right here.
2. Jordan Younger/@thebalancedblonde
I mentioned Jordan in my post yesterday (because I finally met her!) but I had to include her in this post because naturally, she’s one of my favorites. Not only is she an example on going from eating too healthy to moderation and balance (what I strive so hard for) but she posts the most delicious photos of California eats, gorgeous workout apparel and even cuter scenic shots when she travels.
If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do. She partners with some amazing brands like Carbon38, has her own clothing line called TruthBalanceVirtue and is coming out with her own memoir called Breaking Vegan this fall. I pre-ordered it yesterday because I’m a sucker for memoirs, especially of those I look up to.
For only starting her blog a short 2 years ago, Jordan is a role model for how far one can truly go with determination + perseverance. Thank you for it Jordan!
3. Rachel Mansfield/@rachlmansfield
I am not sure how I stumbled upon my good (foodie/Instagram) friend Rachel but I am so happy I did. For those of you who have not heard of “oatsforyou” or seen a bright white background with overnight oatmeal in front of it then WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!? Rach is the oats queen!
Before I discovered her, I had never made such a dreamy bowl of overnight oats before in my life. We all know the average recipe of overnight oats but nothing can ever compare to her Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats recipe. This was the first recipe I ever made from her site and I fell in love. 3/4 cup almond milk to 1/2 cup oats with chia seeds… the most filling and delicious breakfast ever. Now I eat it at least three times a week!
Not only is Rachel a phenomenal breakfast queen who shares a mutual love for nut butter with me but she has worked for two awesome companies, Bai and Hungryroot, sending me all of the delicious products imaginable. She’s always there to send a foodie-Snapchat to or talk about muffins with which I absolutely love! She just whipped out a brand new blog design so be sure to check out the dozens of oatmeal-related delicious and nutritious recipes on her site.
4. Andie Mitchell/@andiemmitchell
I first discovered Andie after hearing nothing but good things about her memoir that came out this past winter called It Was Me All Along. When I purchased it over spring break, it wasn’t until the beginning of this summer when I finally opened it up and began reading. It was my first time reading a book about someone’s struggle with weight loss, dropping a significant amount of weight, having an unhealthy relationship with food and then finding that middle, center ground. Each time I would read it on the train to work I had nothing but a combination of smiles and almost-tears. I related so much to her journey, especially when she said she would bake with her mom when she was younger and her mom would throw outrageous dinner parties. Me too Andie, me too!
When she mentioned cooking out of The Silver Palate cookbook with her mom I dropped the book and gasped because that was my childhood life story. I called my mom so many times reading Andie’s memoir, saying how similar her story was to mine even if it came off as very different. Her story really made me appreciate where I was and how far I’ve come.
The other day she followed me on Instagram and my heart dropped. One of my favorite feelings is when my inspirations notice my page… I’m like a little kid in a candy store squealing. #sorrynotsorry
Andie is a freelance writer who blogs at Can You Stay For Dinner and is dropping a cookbook next year. Her blog will definitely leave you wide-eyed with tons of recipes that are just waiting to be created. Nothing but admiration for her!
5. May Zhu/@nutritionhappens
I have been mentioning May a whole bunch lately, specifically because she just moved to my current home city of Chicago! She’s currently working on her title as a Registered Dietitian so before she starts her two years of schooling, we’ve been doing nothing but shopping, eating delicious meals and drinking a lot of coffee. What else would you expect out of two food bloggers?!
May is such an inspiration to me because of how she stays 100% true to herself and her brand. She is in the process of expanding her blog and just you wait – it’s going be “amaze”. In five years, I can only imagine the numerous ideas, partnerships and businesses May will be apart of and working for/with. Although she spends a fair time at the cutest shops around the city (previously Charleston, SC), she knows how to spot the good food products at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods… specifically smoked salmon. I think we can agree on our mutual love for Hope Foods hummus and avocado toast too, so automatically we’re the perfect blogging duo.
Several times May will tell me that she cares more about engagement rather than the number of followers/viewers she has – something I strongly admire. As May is a few years older than me and has been pursuing her passion for quite some time, she always offers the best advice on certain ideas and new products to try. Kind of like a big (food blogger) sister.
6. Alexis Joseph/@hummusapien
Alexis is without a doubt one of my favorite, favorite bloggers in the blogosphere. Yes I just said “blogosphere” and yes, she is super duper fantastic. Just like myself, she is a total hummus-crazed, baked sweet potato fry fan and you can’t blame her. She is one of the only food bloggers I know of that lives in my home state of Ohio and is a Registered Dietitian at one of the coolest juice/smoothie bars in Columbus, Alchemy Juice Café. Still DYING to try it!
I began following Alexis’ blog, Hummusapien, earlier last year and once I started making her recipes, I soon realized that she had a gift of delivering simple recipes with easy ingredients but impeccable taste. For example, her banana muffins are out of this world, require minimal ingredients and most of them can be purchased at any grocery store. Not JUST Whole Foods. Last Thanksgiving, my mom and I ended up making her vegan green bean casserole which blew my whole family away. She makes vegan taste un-vegan and I love every bit of it.
Another reason why this hummusapien is such an inspiration to me? Although she eats pretty much primarily vegan (as I used to/still do on occasion), she does not classify herself as a vegan and never puts a label on anything. She will have her fried egg on toast and then her spoonful of Jeni’s Ice Cream (only the best) but also whips out tons of meatless and vegan recipes without being pretentious about it. Gotta love her.
7. Georgie Morley/@init4thelongrunblog
Georgie is an inspiration to me because of how dedicated and hard working she is for being a young food blogger. If you haven’t checked out her blog, In It for the Long Run, please do so immediately. Her page is filled with delicious smoothie recipes, healthy snacks, tips on blogging (which are always useful to those just starting or who have been for years) and little odds and ends to her social media-filled life. She handles Bai’s social media, always knows how to capture a colorful Instagram shot and designed her whole blog to really capture the attention of her readers.
I love reading her posts on blogging because they are the best form of inspiration (something I realized in the past weekend). From catching on and bonding with other bloggers like Georgie, that is the best way to grow your brand, make new friends and grow in other aspects of your life.
Her blog is 100% true, genuine and real. Through her eating disorder posts to her What I Ate Wednesdays, she doesn’t hide anything and that’s why I am SUCH a huge fan. Hopefully I can meet this gem of an inspirational foodie one day!
8. Sophie Jaffe/@philosophiemama
If there’s one social influencer out there who is without a doubt a role model to many in many different ways, it’s Sophie Jaffe. I came across her brand, Philosophie, last summer when I first started my blog and through following her on social media and reading her posts, I can’t think of a better soul to highlight than her. Not only did she start her own superfood company in Los Angeles but she is a mom of two, wife, yogi and entrepreneur. All of her posts ALWAYS focus on high energy, finding magic in simple everyday elements of life and slowing down to enjoy the little moments of your day.
Without even doing yoga or meditating, I can look at her blog posts or Instagram captions and feel a sense of calm energy. Aside from radiating positive energy, all of her recipes are 100% drool-worthy and include wholesome ingredients (obviously my favorite). If there’s one yogi role model I look up to, it’s Sophie.
9. Jessica Meltzer/@groundedgoddesskitchen
Where do I even begin with Jessica? As of the past few weeks, I’ve been in the total mindset of moving to California post college. I am dying to get there again over winter break and for my 21st birthday in January and her photos don’t make it any easier. She keeps her page bright and colorful and despite not having a blog, she definitely inspires me to stay creative with my recipes and what I post on social media.
This grounded goddess has nothing but positivity radiating off of her feed and she just unexpectedly decided to move to New York City from Los Angeles. As someone who is as infatuated with traveling as I am, her move could not be any more inspiring. And she’s a fellow kombucha addict like myself. #twinning.
She never fails to leave a sweet comment on any of my posts and I can tell is one of those foodstagrammers I would meet and within 5 seconds we’d become best friends.
10. Jeannette Ogden/@shutthekaleup
Last but not least is one of my favorite health Instagram accounts since day one, the fabulous Jeannette of #shutthekaleup. It’s so funny that I now text Jeannette on a frequent basis and often my friends will ask me, “do you follow shut the kale up? oh my god her posts make me so hungry!” Yes, yes I follow her and yes, I agree, her posts make me want to dive into my iPhone’s screen and eat all of the Justin’s peanut butter cups possible.
When I first began texting J, I was so inspired and had so many questions for her. How does she make those killer smoothies, how about those fantastic egg sandwiches? Then on top of it all, she teaches CorePower yoga sculpt classes like the badass she is. Another woman striving for balance, she is a role model for any lady going through pregnancy (as she is right now) because she doesn’t use it as any excuse to eat complete crap. She is known for her #glutenanddairyohmy hashtags and she definitely does indulge, which is why I am inspired by her on the regular. Homemade baked goods straight out of Newport Beach and all of the figs… you’ll find it on her feed.
She loves her Applegate meat (like me!) but also can’t get enough of green juices and chia-packed oatmeal. Nothing like a balanced friend on social media to make you smile. Much love to you, J!
^^^ Pretty much explains this post in it’s entirety. What these ten women represent is nothing but positivity and inspiration which I strive for daily. If you haven’t been to their sites or feeds, please do! 🙂
Happy Monday fellow chickpeas!!