Wednesday, February 15, 2017

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

Looking for more inspirational people to follow online? I'm of the firm belief that you should surround yourself with positive people in both real life AND online. So, today I'm sharing my favorite 13 people who've inspired me over the years with their positive, helpful attitude. I hope you love them as much as I do!

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow
Every few months I like to go through my physical and digital things and remove what no longer serves me. Sorting through items in my home is much less of an undertaking now that I've used the KonMari method to declutter (since I now have less stuff); however, digital clutter (like emails & files) builds so much quicker if you're not diligent about keeping up with it. 

I recently went through an email and social media follow purge, unsubscribing from lists and unfollowing accounts that I either didn't connect with anymore or was too busy to keep up with. It felt SO good!

But I realized that clearing the unwanted digital stuff also made room in my online life for more people to follow who aligned with my current goals. So, I've been seeking out recommendations for new inspirational content creators to follow. 

And in the midst of doing this, I thought it was a good idea to share some of my own favorite people that I've been following for several years now (and a few for less than that). 

It was difficult to narrow the list down to only 13 people because I follow soooooo many awesome accounts across different social media platforms, but I managed to do it. Hopefully this post will resonate with enough people that I'll get the opportunity to create another one with even more recommendations. 

So without further adieu, here's the list (in no particular order)...

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

1. Kelly Winters -

Ever heard the quote "people inspire you, or they drain you -- pick them wisely"? Meaning, people either give off negative energy (which drain yours while "dealing" with them) or positive energy (which in turn energizes you). Kelly is in the latter group. 

And reading her blog posts or weekly newsletter (I've been on her list for awhile now) is like hearing from a friend who is bursting to tell you about the best things they've discovered lately so they can help make your life better, too. 

Kelly shares paleo & primal real food recipes + natural living and exercise tips on her blog, so if you're into those topics, follow her for some extra sunshine in your life. And if you're a print book type of person, she's shared some of her recipes in The Ultimate Paleo Cookbook, which was made collaboratively with several other bloggers.

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Kelly:

2. Sherri Griffin -

Want to learn more about living a non-toxic DIY lifestyle without feeling judged, overwhelmed, or bored? Sherri is your gal! She mixes excellent, well-researched information with humor, sass, and sarcasm to keep you entertained. It's a brilliant strategy. Read any one of her blog posts and by the end, you'll be thinking "holy crap, I just learned something awesome but it felt like I was having fun the whole time"

I'm lucky enough to have met her in in real life (she & I are both on the same big Young Living team), and she's just as nice and genuine in person. If you're interested in DIY tutorials for personal care products and stuff for the home, follow her blog & social media accounts for down to earth inspiration and high-quality recipes. 

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Sherri:

3. Nagi Maehashi -

Get ready to drool! If you're looking for quick & approachable recipes that use fresh, high-quality ingredients, go follow Nagi's blog right meow. For serious. Although you might also hate me for it because after one look at her pics you'll want to eat the screen.

The other reason I love Nagi is because she wrote an amazingly helpful & thorough ebook called The Food Photography Book which has helped me improve my own food photos a lot! I still have loads left to learn and more to read (it's packed with very specific, valuable info), but I am eternally grateful that she decided to share her best tips & tricks all in one place. She also has a website called Food Bloggers Central and a corresponding Facebook group (of which I'm a member) where hundreds of food bloggers can get support from one another and ask questions. 

Nagi is so giving of her knowledge and a super sweet person, so whether you're a food blogger or just a person looking for delicious recipes using fresh ingredients, definitely check out her blog RecipeTin Eats.  

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Nagi: 

4. Elizabeth Walling -

Elizabeth came into my life about 3ish years ago when I was first learning about real food and rolling in virtual circles with traditional foods/WAPF food bloggers. They helped me learn to love fats again (I was eating all non or low-fat foods before) and to examine food labels/ingredients so I knew what I was eating, which totally changed my life for the better. I'm eternally grateful for this. 

However, a few of the bloggers were very dogmatic about their food lifestyle and touted a certain level of perfectionism. To them, all grains must be soaked before eating, you needed to eat a ton of fermented foods and make all of it at home, take several tablespoons of FCLO every day, and then only buy & eat 100% grass-fed, local, humane, organic animal products (meat & dairy). And if you didn't do this? Well, you'd develop a bunch of cavities and get sick from some inflammatory disease. Okay, I'm maybe I'm exaggerating slightly but there was definitely click baity fear mongering going on in terms of health issues.

So here I am--a total noob to real food--completely stressed out about having to go from eating low-fat yogurt & microwavable rice to made-from-scratch and fermented everything practically overnight, when Elizabeth glides into my life (in the same group). I checked out her blog and found out that she cooks with all-purpose flour and cane sugar and doesn't stress about it. Then I read her book The Nourished Metabolism and learned about how stress can affect our metabolism. I learned about listening to your body when it came to food (intuitive eating) and striving for self-love and balance instead of stressing over some "diet" or perfect food lifestyle. This was exactly what I needed to hear at the time! And it's stuck with me ever since.

We live in a hectic, go-go-go time, so I honestly feel like anyone could benefit from following Elizabeth's blog for a dose of down to earth, positive advice that will help you reconnect with yourself. So, go check her out! :)

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Elizabeth:

5. Bree Argetsinger -

Bree is one of the few people I choose to follow in the online fitness community because she radiates positive vibes, encourages folks to exercise so they can improve their health, strength & self-confidence, and is an advocate for eating real foods. The fact that's she's not slinging some diet pills or suggesting extreme calorie counting is special. But the fact that she also encourages people to eat plenty of fruits, veggies, proteins, sprouted grains, and healthy fats (i.e. real food) makes her a friggin unicorn in my book.

To top that all off, her exercise videos are really FUN (she's high energy) and easy enough to do at home without a bunch of equipment. Most of her moves only require your own body weight, so they're perfect when you're just starting out. In past years, I've participated in a few of her free 30-day #makefatcry challenges, which were awesome, but I never stuck with them long enough. I plan on doing another one in the coming months, as I'm ready to focus on strength training and building lean muscle this year.

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Bree:

6. Sarah Von Bargen -

I look forward to getting Sarah's emails in my inbox and reading her blog posts because they feel like a letter from a close friend. She's charming, witty, and super relatable (i.e. non-pretentious). 

Reading her writing always cheers me up (probably because it feels like chatting with a friend over coffee). And it's packed with insightful and helpful advice on topics like happiness and living frugally. Not frugal living as in I'm going to eat red beans & rice every day + start couponing to save money, but more like I'm going to shop at thrift stores and only enjoy cheap local activities for the next six months so I can save up to travel the world. 

If you could use some inspiration to seek out happiness, live in the moment, save money, and be a bit more spontaneous, definitely follow Sarah's blog Yes and Yes (I recommend joining her newsletter).  

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Sarah:

7. Ariana Mullins -

Want to live vicariously through someone halfway across the world? Someone who eats/shares delicious, fresh, local, in-season foods and writes about exploring the local surroundings as an expat? Then you need to follow Ariana! 

Reading one of her posts and even her cookbook, And Here We Are At The Table, always makes me hungry since she tends to share deceptively simple recipes using only a handful of fresh ingredients, but the stories of her adventures in England and Spain also satisfy my never-ending wanderlust (I love traveling and trying new foods). 

However, the biggest takeaway I get from her writing is an appreciation for the simple pleasures in life, whether that's a hunk of good cheese and cured meat with a glass of wine or an early morning walk on the beach. If you could use some more wanderlust inducing, crave-worthy, enjoy the present moment kinda inspiration, definitely check out Ariana's blog, And Here We Are. 

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Ariana:

8. Lindsey Gremont -

Lindsey was the first person to introduce me to Young Living essential oils back in 2013 and although I eventually joined under another blogger on her team who reached out to me directly, I will be eternally grateful to her for sharing her experiences with Thieves on her blog! 

Because of her, I now use essential oils every single day to support my body and mind so I'm feeling vibrant and healthy. And my lifestyle has transformed from relying on toxic household & beauty products to a handful of non-toxic DIY versions (or cleaner store-bought products). She's one special lady! I really admire her because she's such a hard worker, super generous with everything she learns and is always trying to grow + improve herself. 

If you're in the market for some solid recipes for DIY beauty products (like shampoo, body wash, toothpaste), check out her super affordable ebook Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials: 35 DIY Beauty Recipes to Use Everyday on Amazon. She also shares WAPF-style real food recipes (she's very passionate about food quality) and info on essential oils on her blog, so go check her out at Homemade Mommy.

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Lindsey:

9. Renee Kohley -

Since Renee has three beautiful girls of her own, most of her posts are geared toward inspiring moms to get in the kitchen and fix quick & nourishing meals for their kiddos and family; however, as a person who doesn't have any kids of her own...I still LOVE following her, especially on Instagram. She shares daily pics of meals for herself and daughters, along with tips on bulk cooking and prepping. 

All of her recipes are gluten-free, simple, kid-friendly, and nutrient-dense, and she recently published her first cookbook, Nourished Beginnings Baby Food: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Infants, Toddlers and Beyond Inspired by Ancient Wisdom and Traditional Foods (I was so giddy when I found it at my local Barnes & Noble).

As someone who cooks often, it's easy to get burnt out and fall back on takeout to give yourself a break. While there's nothing wrong with that in the short term, it gets expensive after awhile! I love following Renee because she inspires me to get back in my kitchen and work smarter not harder to keep home-cooked real food in my fridge & freezer. If you could use the same dose of inspiration or have young kids in your life, make sure to follow her blog, Raising Generation Nourished.  

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Renee: 

10.  Annessa Chumbley, RD -

Can I be brutally honest for a second? Before I met Annessa last year, I had basically zero trust in registered dietitians & nutritionists. Every single one I came across was advising people to eat lots of grains (especially bread and cereal), only consume fat-free or low-fat foods (basically villainizing all saturated fats & most fats), cook with canola oil and artificial sugars, and restrict calories. I used to eat like this...and it made me feel TERRIBLE! Every day was a battle with spiked blood sugar, energy crashes, bloatedness, hunger, and irregular sleep (wired at night and exhausted in the morning). When I switched to eating real foods with plenty of healthy fats, my energy levels and appetite balanced out, and I dropped a pants size naturally without any extra work.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Annessa was nothing like those other R.D.s! She views food as nourishment for our body & mind, not something you should stress over. She doesn't villainize fats (or any foods that I can tell), but instead focuses on sharing the health benefits of specific foods and encourages you to eat them. In other words, she's a glass half full instead of half empty kinda gal. 

On top of that, she's one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever met. She radiates happy, positive energy and is a total natural when speaking in front of larger groups and on camera. With that said, if you're interested in easy healthy recipes with simple wholesome ingredients, definitely check out her blog and watch some of her Facebook live cooking demonstrations (that's where she shines, IMHO).  

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Annessa:

11. Lori Elliott -

If you're noticing a trend in this list of people focused on seeking balance in their lives, then you'd be absolutely right! One of the reasons I love following Lori is because she shares wisdom from past generations and encourages slow(er), intentional living. 

One thing that makes her unique is her love for old cookbooks. Even better, she recreates updated versions of these older, beloved recipes by modernizing the ingredients. Pretty awesome, right? She also writes about natural health topics like herbal remedies and how to achieve physical and mental wellness with simple, daily habits. And as a fellow introvert, I can definitely relate to her love for books, cozy nooks, and yummy foods + drinks! 

Reading her posts always help me to slow down, reflect, and be more mindful, so if you could use more of that in your life, definitely follow her blog Our Heritage of Health. 

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Lori: 

12. Diane Sanfilippo -

When you're following a specific food lifestyle it's easy to get wrapped up in dogma. If you don't follow x/y/z rule then the "food police" come out of the woodwork to hound and chastise you for being less than perfect. Or maybe (without realizing it) you've become that person who judges everyone else for their food choices, while holding yours on a pedestal. 

As the creator of two enormously popular books/programs--Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox--Diane Sanfilippo is a leading figure in the Paleo/Primal community. And while she could use her influence to tell people they MUST live/eat/breathe a certain way in order to quality as paleo, she doesn't

Instead, she encourages balance (hence her blog name) and experimentation. She realizes that not everyone has the same health goals or reactions to foods (a major reason why someone might cut out grains or dairy), so how we choose to eat and live our lives should be flexible. 

I'm actually a big fan of primal eating. It makes me feel really good when I eat that way, although I do love organic corn products and some grains like rice, quinoa, and einkorn wheat, so I'm not strict about it. I'm also trying to convince my dad to switch to all primal foods, as I've found information showing that eating this way (essentially by cutting out all grains) can balance your blood sugar and eventually eliminate your need for insulin if you have Type II diabetes (which he does). 

So, if you are looking for a balanced approach to whole foods a la paleo style, give Diane a follow via her blog Balanced Bites. 

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Diane: 

13. Kirsten Thompson -

This last recommendation is for any fellow bloggers and content creators who may be reading this. If you've never heard of Kirsten, then you have a lot to look forward to! (Get ready to join the Kirsten fan club.) 

In a sea of people who are hustling everyday (sometimes with shady tactics) to make money off us bloggers by showing us how do an array of tasks (how to start a blog comes to mind), Kirsten stands out as a genuinely helpful and giving person. She's brilliant at breaking down tasks into manageable bites and teaching them to others. 

If you're horrible with organization and time management (me!!), or just need help focusing on and taking actionable steps toward your goals (maybe they're floating around in your head or on a billion pieces of paper), Kirsten is your gal. She's constantly sharing VERY practical, useful information on her blog, in her emails, and in her facebook group

I'm always learning something new from her and am 100,000% grateful that I signed up for her Finish Big Start Strong (#FBSS) course last fall. I am only halfway through it, but it has helped me create actionable goals for the next year and plan out steps to hit them without completely overwhelming myself. No matter if you're a beginning, intermediate, or advanced blogger, I highly recommend you check out her blog, Sweet Tea LLC, and the abundance of resources/tips she shares. 

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

My favorite posts from Kirsten: 

Your turn... 

Are you following anyone on this list? Or, did I miss any of your favorite inspirational people? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

P.S. Love My Post & Looking For More to Read? Here Are a Few of My Best:

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