February 14, 2017



It is no secret that I am a Parks and Rec afficianado. It has been my favorite tv show for awhile, most notably because I am so inspired by Leslie Knope. She is passionate, powerful, driven, and loves her galpals so hard. The most immediate way I have implemented her moral tenets into my life is though Galentine’s day: the day before valentine’s day when you appreciate the powerful and wonderful women in your life.

I am writing this post in a coffee shop after spending the most amazing weekend in Baltimore with my best friend and an amazing group of ladies. We ate, we sang, we danced, we laughed, we galentines’ed.

Carrying that sentiment to a broader platform, I realized I am so incredibly fortunate to be in contact with so many women who are bringing small and large changes to their communities. It is really amazing and inspiring to see every day. This is a list of powerful women who inspire me every day: they are mom’s, business owners, and overall badasses. Take a moment today and drop a note to the women who are inspiring you. It has meaning to appreciate your lady friends for what they are doing, valuing their brains and their passions.

Here’s how I’m doing it:

Addie Martanovic (@


Alexandra from In My Bowl (@tallulahalexandra): I started following Alexandra’s blog In My Bowl when I was in college and have always been drawn to the comforting nature of her creations and language. In fact, it was her switch to nutrition post-grad that really motivated me to pursue my own nutrition path. Her writing oozes knowledge and intelligence and there is something about her words and photos that releases a calm aura over you. I also love the way she repurposes ingredients and shows a genuine appreciation for all ingredients – saving vegetable scraps to make into a broth or making sure to adopt the produce at farmer’s market that may not be as aesthetically pleasing as its siblings. She shows us that being a mom, a “worker bee” as she calls it, and fostering a community is all possible. I most love that she created something called “Wanderers Wanted” in which she gathers like minded individuals in her D.C. ecosystem, bringing them together to share ideas, stories, and a nourishing, plant-based meal.



Alexia Clarke (@alexia_clark): I get Alexia’s workouts sent to my inbox every day and I am convinced she is not human. She creates these incredibly difficult, creative and eccentric exercises, posting them on her Instagram and stories every day. As someone who doesn’t have a gym membership, this has totally changed the way I workout. Constant motivation, and you can tell she’s someone who’s just hustling: features in men’s health magazine, fitness modeling, creating and sending home workouts 5 nights a week, and having her own clients in the gym. She is totally reshaped the definition of strong and sexy and is such a motivating follow.



Alexis Joseph (@hummusapien): The first time I met Alexis in person, I was struck by her poise and her passion. We shared a warming bowl of plants together, and she in turn warmed my soul. I was absolutely floored by her drive, her kindness, and her mission. She is an R.D. who JUST after finishing her Master’s program created Alchemy Juice bar, a cafe in Columbus dedicated to bringing you fresh, wholesome, innovative food and drink that nourishes both the mind and body. There was literally overlap between getting her RD and creating this healthy haven. She is an absolute badass that runs her own business, and in her spare time (??? still don’t know how she does it), creates the most delicious and beautiful recipes on her blog. She is a force with the most infectious smile in all the land. And I am so lucky to know her.



Blair Flynn (@balancewithb): Have you ever met someone that you feel is just constantly elevated – almost like floating on a cloud with a calm and caring demeanor? That is Blair from @balancewithb. Not only is her relaxing aura transferrable to those around her, but B just made the decision to pursue blogging full time and I am just so excited about that. There is so much passion, warmth, and care packed into her small frame, and she genuinely just wants to help everyone around her. She is an amazing listener, and is changing the stigma behind those with IBS and chronic digestive issues. She is SO incredibly creative in the kitchen, even making fruit free smoothies delicious (never thought that was possible…). When she’s not prancing around making new recipes, she’s posting yoga photos worthy of magazines. Just a truly wonderful human being that I am so happy to call real life and internet friend.



Cat Meffan (@catmeffan): Her yoga poses are incredible and her energy infectious. I smile every single time I watch her stories. She is like a bubble of light and joy, and honestly I don’t know her at all! I think I’ve been following for maybe a month (never made direct contact with her – ah yes, creepy world of the internet, we meet again!) and she is one of my favorite follows. She recently did those whole series called “Yoganuary” in which she posted a new yoga series every day of the month. Talk about dedication and doing it just to selflessly enrich the lives of her followers. I am more motivated than ever to work on my inversions after seeing her yoga capacities and capabilities. Just a positive and wonderful person to have pop up on your feed every day.



Courtney Swan (@realfoodology): Courtney is one of those people who is just effortlessly cool, and carves her own path. She is championing the endeavor of making real food the new norm and more available to the masses, not just something available to a certain socioeconomic class, race, gender, or upbringing. I’d also like to mention that not only is she a blogger and instagrammer, but getting her Master’s in nutrition AND serving as a nutritionist on tour with Tove Lo. Just let that one sink in for a second. On top of that, she still has time to drop a sweet note or text of the “I miss you babe, can’t wait to see you!” variety. Her brain capacity knows no bounds – she cares for her friends, even if only meeting them once, and cares for her followers, wanting them to know the unfairness and falsities that are insidious in food service. She has amazing and informative videos on her site, updates interesting articles to her Facebook page, and is just one of those “real deal” kinds of people. I am just so grateful to know her.



Danica (@kaleandcarrotsticks): It is an incredibly difficult thing to be so vulnerable and transparent with struggle and to update strangers on things that are troubling you. Danica does this in a way that is so admirable and inspiring. Recently losing her grandmother, she is bringing light to previously muted subjects like binge eating and depression. These things are real, and far more insidious in our culture than we are led to believe. Her recipes and photos are beautiful, and so is she – inside and out. She shows us that it’s okay to be sad, and that each and every day we must choose to be well, even though sometimes it is just so damn hard. She is a lighthouse – showing brightness even when things may feel dark and reminding us all that being open and honest brings more progress than going at it alone. Incredible person and incredible follow.


Esther Collineti (@ecollineti / @revcyclestudio): I first met Esther when she was taking a spin class at Rev Cycle Studio in Baltimore – her studio. It was the most grueling class I’ve ever taken. She now owns two studios, is a triathlete, and brings her passion and joy to whoever she meets, sharing “the gift of sweat with whomever is brave enough to walk through my doors” (her words). Her whole mission and goal behind her studios and classes is making people feel like they are enough, and to do everything for love. She lives her life uncensored and that is just so fucking admirable.

www.esthercollinetti.com // www.revuup.com




Grace Abbot (@agraceabbott): Grace has been my friend since high school, and she has known me at my best and at my worst. She encouraged me to start a blog when I was in a deep cloud of darkness, and this space has lifted me up in ways that are unimaginable and ineffable. It is amazing to have someone believe in me harder than I believed in myself when it came to blogging and Instagram. She is smart as a tack, honed at her craft (marketing, graphic design, and brand development), and gorgeous inside and out. She is also a great travel partner, and has an incredible eye – for design, for photography, for Jeni’s ice cream, and for vegan gluten free chocolate cake. I love you, G!!!!


Holly (@hollyskeepingitreal): Awhile back I began a venture to find a good all natural deodorant. A resounding roar of support exploded from many advocating for Holly’s deodorant on Etsy, from called Holly’s Keeping It Real. Not only is the deodorant an amazing product, but its creator is an amazing woman. A mom of (almost) two and champion of a brain tumor. She is conscious of the all ingredients, in her meals and her deodorant – keeping it simply with only 4 ingredients and using a glass jar to avoid any contact with plastic. When I started having issues with rash after using the deodorant, she responded right away with advice of how to soothe my sore pits. She took so much care, time and dedication to make sure I started to feel better and would even check in regularly, ask how I was doing, or send me bentonite clay mask. Simply put she is just GOOD. The real and genuine meaning of the word kind and caring, which is rare to find these days. If your’e gonna start with an all natural deodorant, I would start with this one. If only because you know ALL of your questions will be answered, your armpits will be cherished and if Holly can’t answer them she’ll respond promptly with a website or resource that fulfills the query.



Jeanette Ogden (@shutthekaleup): Where to even begin. Her kitchen creations are fresh and creative, her demeanor candid and genuine, and the love she has for her followers is downright palpable. She cares. Genuinely cares, in a quality not quantity way. Despite never having met Jeanette (soon to be changed!!!), I feel like she is a good friend who is in my ring and rooting for me. And that is how she has a powerful impact on her community. Everyone feels like she is their coach and confidant because of her enormous heart. That is an incredibly hard thing to do and she does it because it is simply her nature – nothing forced, nothing effortful, just simply being. She is emotionally invested in every single person that has ever reached out to her. I am so grateful to have crossed paths with this person and to know her. A loving mother and wife, a caring friend, a whole / real foods advocate, who values personality and authenticity far more than body image or appearance. The word inspiring is an understatement and the English language doesn’t quite have a word to do this person justice.



Jennie Kay (@jenniekaybeauty): Whenever I post a personal photo on my IG or blog, I would say 95% of the comments fall into the “YAASSSSS GURL THAT HAIR!!!!!!!!!” / “ARE YOU A MERMAID?!?!?” / #hairgoals category. All of the success goes to Jennie Kay in this department. I drive an hour and a half to see her, not just for her skills, but for her passion and drive. She has her own salon, and side hustle of weddings and hair photography. AND she was just offered to create her own line of hair accessories. Not to mention she’s a mom of two boys. This woman is amazing. One of those “I don’t know how she does it” powerhouses. And I am so lucky to be touched / stroked by her!!!!!!



Jillian Frein (@likeagirl__fitness): I’ve been following Jillian since I started my account because I so drawn to her spunk. She is also INCREDIBLE at arm balances and I aspired to one day nail a handstand like her. Beyond her personality and affinity for handstands, her whole concept and mission is what I most admire. She is committed to redifining what it means to be a girl. Creating a fitness plan and clothing line that highlights the strength and power and shine that is associated with femininity. Plus her workout videos are challenging and effective – great if you need a way to switch up your exercise plan. AND her dog is adorable. Pups and pep is how I think about Jillian – an awesome and inspiring follow.



Katy Allan (@savoringtheflavoring): Rather than investing in an ab belt or medicine ball to do crunches on, simply follow Katy Allan from savoring the flavoring. I went into meeting this person blind. RGE knew her before I followed her, and said we were having dinner with her one night when she was in Boston. I can very earnestly and honestly say I have never laughed harder and louder than I did when I met this person. While her humor is obviously admirable, her ability to be a mom of 3 boys as well as work from home full time is incredible inspiring. She loves her pack fiercely, and is a strong protector of those she invests in. Whenever I receive a hateful or mean comment on one of my photos (which happens more often than you’d think, unfortunately), I envision Katy cracking her knuckles and murmuring “oh no they didn’t” in that beautiful brain of hers, and politely responding, reminding the person that I am a human undeserving of the hate and that what I made is not actually “yuck” or “nasty.” I savor our friendship immensely, and hope to one day be a third of the mom and businesswoman that she is.



Lisa Hayim (@thewellnecessities): I have had the absolute pleasure of knowing Lili (Lisa Hayim) personally since the beginning of creating my account. She first contacted me when I posted a video of me taking wheatgrass shots to the backdrop of Lil Jon’s “Shots, shots, shots, shots, shots!!” song. It was then that I knew: “this person gets me.” And I haven’t deviated from that mindset since. Not only is Lisa an R.D. with an amazing subscription service focused on introducing people to know and healthy snacks in the industry, but her perspective is a little different. She cares about the food, yes, but she also cares about the way we think about food. She is holding the torch for transforming the way relationships with food – embedding more mindfulness and consciousness into meal time to better understand certain thought processes surrounding our relationships with food. She is so successful at this because she is so invested in everyone she meets. She knows their stories, she empathizes, she checks in, she asks how your’e doing, she’s there – an ever-present and constant source of support. Lisa is someone who will take on her client’s, her friend’s, her family’s struggles and hardships because she wants to do everything in her power to make a difference and help them be just a little bit better, a little bit happier, a little more joyous or goofy. And she does that so successfully. She is small, but does so much. If you ever need a virtual hugly (Hugly is the name of the cookie she created and sells in NYC, btw – a healthy ugly cookie that I have had and is downright delicious), simply drop Lili a note and your day will be instantly better.



Lisa Mara (@danceworksboston): When I graduated from college, I was missing a lot of things. It’s hard to be catapulted out of a community that had everything: immediate group of friends around you, clubs you participated in that provided purpose and meaning, success dictated by a letter, and extracurriculars that provided deeper life texture. Dance was always a part of my life that fostered better understanding and expression of emotion, and not dancing created a deep void. I then stumbled upon DanceWorks boston, created by Lisa Mara. Lisa, previously a successful PR lady, recognized this pothole, and gathered a group of people who felt the same way. The company continued to grow, and now boasts more than 200 members, of which I am proud to be one of them. While it is lovely to again participate in the art of dance, what is the most special is the community that has resulted from DanceWorks. Honestly, it’s downright hard and awkward to meet new friends after graduating – no longer constantly swimming in a group of people who you already have something in common with because you go to the same school This issue was precipitated for me by the fact that I largely work from home in front of a computer all day. In DanceWorks, dance is the common denominator – the thread of similarity amongst a group of vastly diverse individuals. Members become roommates, lifelong friends, and even get married. Yes, many couples have met and married, and are now even pregnant (!!!) from meeting through DanceWorks. I am forever grateful for Lisa for creating this community in Boston, for reigniting my passion for dance, and for introducing me to some of my best friends since graduating from college.



Priscilla Tsai (@cocokindskincare): I was introduced to Priscilla and her company Cocokind skincare through one of my TWN subscriptions. I immediately fell in love with the peppermint coconut oil based chapstick and tossed her a follow. I then tried the matcha coconut butter moisturizer and have never been more tempted to take a spoon to a beauty product. The smell is unique, soothing, and sweet – just like Priscilla. Being a female business owner, she recently posted a video about going to a meeting with a male friend and the people in the meeting looking at the man when asking questions, despite Priscilla being the owner of the company. She has informative videos about how to use the products, and why you should be using them – creating a community of smart consumers by both educating and explaining. Her products genuinely work and she is such has a genuine human. She also sometimes posts hilarious IG stories when she’s slightly tipsy – a real human that navigates the business world with humor and grace. She just makes those around her glow, or maybe that just speaks to the effectiveness of the chia seed facial oil.



Rachael Devaux (@rachaelsgoodeats): I had the utmost pleasure of spending a week with Rachael and exploring Boston together. The soundtrack of the week was guttural giggling (the kind that almost doesn’t have a sound at all), pattering of steps on the pavement as we strolled (hand in hand) all day long, tummy grumbling followed by exhales of food satisfaction, and vegetables sautéing on the stovetop (followed by a few farts. Nothing says friendship like farting in front of someone in my humble opinion.) There is something so special and magical about being around someone who you feel like you can immediately be yourself around when first meeting them, and to do so at the ripe old age of 23. RGE doesn’t even know her power – the ability to make nutrition approachable to ALL, regardless of diet plan, budget, or background. Her recipes are just as approachable and delicious as she is. I am thrilled to have her in my ring, and to call her one of my best friends. Cannot wait to see what she brings us next.



Rachel Mansfield (@rachlmansfield): What a powerhouse. If you’re in the mood to have your heart start racing and filling pages of a notebook of career ideas you want to bring to fruition – the things that keep you up at night that you’re afraid to enact – listen to this podcast that RachL did on the So Money podcast. Listening to this and following Rachel’s blog and instagram will make you expand your definition of health and wellness. It is not simply reinventing and healthifying a banana bread recipe, but learning to VALUE yourself and everything you bring to the table. It’s about finding your purpose, honing in on what makes you you, investing in your community, showing gratitude, and doing so with class, grace, and beauty. Her creations are delicious, and so is she. One time my blog crashed and RachL called me to do emotional damage control. Previously feeling like a puppy in the deep end, drowning and struggling to keep my head above water, her cool and caring demeanor made me leave the conversation with an actionable game plan. She’s a troubleshooter, a problem solver, an inspirer, and a badass business woman who I am so lucky to call friend.



Sophie Jaffe (@sophiejaffe // @philosophiesuperfoods): Sometimes when I’m in need of some inspiration, I look to Sophie’s IG captions. The most recent one invoking some feelings was this. “To all my sisters near and far, I feel you, I support you, I lift you, and I LOVE YOU.” This was just a single sentence amidst a powerful paragraph of uplifting words. And that is what following Sophie is like. Little chestnuts of wisdom sprinkled throughout your day. She is a mom, a business owner (philosophie superfoods), a wife, a friend, a sister, and an overall powerful and nurturing spirit. While her yoga poses and smoothie bowls are fantastic to look at, it is her soul and energy that keeps me so drawn to this wonder woman. She is honest, earnest, candid, hilarious, and just herself. To fall deeply in love with Sophie and to get what I mean, just listen to her episode on the Soul on Fire podcast. Her protein powders and coconut butters are also just downright delicious, with no bullshit added like sweeteners or gums or preservatives. Delicious with no bullshit – best way to describe Sophie.


There are so many more beyond this list, and I am so grateful to have met such amazing women through Instagram and blogging!!

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