Homemade Latte (another coffee post)

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It’s no secret that I love coffee! Here’s another quick at home “latte” you can try out! It’s not really a latte since we’re using coffee and not espresso (say it with me “esssspresso” not “exxxxpresso”) but it’s still delicious. I make my coffee in a French press but you can make it however you want. You’ll need:
•9 ounces of coffee
•4 ounces of whatever milk you want (I used almond)
•Cinnamon
•Sweetener of choice

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Start off with your freshly brewed coffee! 9 ounces is good.

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Warm up your milk on the stove top until desired temperature. I think 4-5 ounces is perfect. Then you can sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

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Or a lot of cinnamon.

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Now blend it up! This gives it that frothy latte feel without having to have an espresso machine or milk frother.

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No blender? Shake that milk up and get a good arm workout too.

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Add your sweetener, (I didn’t add any bc I’m trying to get back) pour your milk and enjoy! You can either just pour straight in or you can use a spoon to let the milk come out first and then scoop the foam on top.

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Perfect 4pm pick me up when you have 2 toddlers who don’t nap. Enjoy!

Lychee vs Rambutan

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Summer time is here which means there is way more variety of fruit in the grocery store. Today I want to do a little comparison of 2 delicious fruits! Lychees and Rambutan.

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First lets talk about the lychee! The lychee is a tropical fruit that grows in many countries. The main source is China and Indian. My lychees came from good ole Miami. The skin is very easy to peel and the fruit is juicy! To me, the fruit taste like a more floral grape. It’s very light and refreshing. It has a pretty large seed inside.

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The Rambutan is another tropical fruit that can be grown in many countries. The main country being Indonesia. Mine came from Costa Rica. While related to the lychee they do have some differences (besides its crazy appearance!) The skin of the rambutan is thicker than the lychee. I was still able to peel it with my finger but it gave me a little struggle. The flesh is thicker than lychee too! The flavor isn’t nearly as strong. It reminds me of a slightly less flavorful grape. Still really good!

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Here’s a little seed comparison for you. I feel you get more fruit from the rambutan while the lychee is mainly seed.

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I can’t really say I like one more! They’re both good and you should try them out if you haven’t!

Peanut Butter Smoothie

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Helllllllo!! Its been awhile! Thanks for sticking around. I plan to start frequently updating my blog and have new pages under construction! I wanted to throw up this smoothie recipe because it’s so good and I’ve been making it almost everyday. For about 12-16 ounces depending how thick you like it, you will need:

•2 frozen bananas
•1 tbs cacao powder
•1 tbs peanut butter (almond butter is equally delicious)
•1 tsp honey (optional and only add if you like it extra sweet!)
•1-1 1/2 cup almond milk depending how thick you want it!

Blend it up and enjoy!!

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A lot changes in a year//I’m eating meat

This is something I’ve thought about for a long time. I’ve had the feeling for awhile now that I would start to eat meat again. I didn’t know how I would come out with this considering a lot of people who follow me (on Instagram) are vegetarian or vegan. So let’s start at the beginning…

I’ve gone vegetarian a few times in the last 10ish years. I’ve done vegetarian, vegan, raw (non vegan), and raw vegan. I’m constantly trying to see what diet works best with me. I always focus on eating real unprocessed foods. A couple times I went vegetarian was because I’d see a documentary about animals cruelty and I would instantly pledge to go vegetarian. That would always only last a couple months. Most times I went vegetarian (or vegan) was for health. I would be stuck in a rut, not feeling my best and decide to go veg once again. It was never a huge deal to me when I would go in and out of my diet choices. I would just do what felt right for me. But then came Instagram…

I started my Instagram page last May (I can’t believe it’s been a year) When I started my page I really didn’t understand how big of an impact Instagram could have. I had only gotten an iPhone a couple months before and had a small personal page. I didn’t know about all the different communities of Instagram. I decided I wanted to go vegetarian (again) and then transition to vegan. I decided to look at the hashtag vegan. I was blown away! I couldn’t believe how big the vegan food community was on Instagram and that people had whole pages just of what they ate. I’ve always been one of those people that get made fun of for taking pictures of their food for I decided this would be perfect for me. I started organicveggiemama and never looked back.

I claimed myself as a vegetarian that wanted to transition to vegan on my accounts bio section. I started posting my meals everyday and hashtaggin’ them up. I loved it! I was getting a ton of inspiration for other pages and starting getting new followers all the time. Over the months I was consistent with posting multiple photos a day and staying on a vegetarian/high vegan diet. I began talking to other people who had similar pages and it started feeling like a close little community. I was making friends with people and that’s not at all what I expected when I made this page.

Then in November, 6 months into my page and vegetarian/vegan journey I made the decision that I wanted to eat eggs again. Even though I was mostly vegetarian and vegetarians do eat eggs, I didn’t. I considered them meat so I didn’t eat them at all. I was almost always getting them from a local source so I didn’t think it was a bad thing. The first time I posted a picture of my egg breakfast I realized how quickly people will unfollow you or say something nasty over your food choice. I think I had 50 or 60 comments on that pic. Some supporting my decision and some not. After that I was honestly scared to post anymore egg pictures and didn’t for a long time.

As time passed since then I’ve contemplated eating meat again on and off. I had moments I just craved it and other moments that I felt I didn’t need it. I’ve been eating meat pretty much my whole life and it’s hard habit to completely break for me. I wish I had the true passion that some of my friends have about this topic. But I just don’t. My passion has always been with organic whole foods. That’s what really makes me happy.

The last month I have gone back and forth a lot. This was the longest I’ve ever stayed vegetarian and a lot of it had to to do with Instagram and being afraid of peoples reactions. Especially the people I talk to regularly that I know feel so passionately about veganism. I didn’t want to upset anyone or ruin relationships. Which is really a warped way of thinking. I have to do what I feel is best for me at the moment. I can’t worry about what everyone else is going to say, because they aren’t me. If anything I want to be able to show everyone that you don’t have to either be a vegan or a meat eater and that’s it. You don’t have to pick a label. I plan to continue to eat a ton of plant based foods. Maybe I’ll have meat a couple of times a week. That doesn’t change my love for fruits and vegetables. I want to eat the best I can, doing what I feel I need to at the time. I’m a conscious meat eater. I’m aware that what I’m eating was a living being and I always say a quiet thank you and have gratitude for it. I told my close friends that I’ve made through Instagram and they were able to accept me even if they don’t particularly like my food choices. I think that is all I can ask for. To anyone reading that feels angry or thinks I’m a bad person for eating meat again, I’m
sure you have a lot of friends and family who consume meat and you still love them. I’m only human and I’m
just trying to figure it all out.

How to make baby food!

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The other day I asked on Instagram
if anyone wanted me to make a post about homemade baby food. I was so surprised with the response that I had to make this post ASAP! My son is about to be 3 and my daughter is 15 months. I have always made them fresh homemade food. At this point they are past the total purée “baby food stage” but I still make these packets sometimes as little snacks. Please give me feedback on what age group you want me to do another post on. This one is just a general “how to” but I can do more based on age group. Also I’m not going to give exact measurements because it’s totally up to you how much you want to make. This isn’t a complicated recipe that you will easily mess up! It’s literally just steaming or baking veggies! It’s so simple and I think everyone should make their own baby food. You will know exactly what’s in it and save money.

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Today I did apples, sweet peas, sweet potato and carrots. All organic. Here are my quick thoughts on organics. I always when possible give my kids organic food. 90% of the time what they eat is organic. It’s important bc of how many chemicals are sprayed on our food. Some food with a thicker skin like oranges are safer to get conventional while other things like strawberries are best to get organic. Do I always want to shell out $5.99 for a pint of organic strawberries when the conventional ones are $2.99? No. Do I always? No. I do it when I can and that’s the best anyone can do. If you don’t have access to organics for whatever reason, don’t feel bad. What’s important is feeding our kids (and ourselves) fresh, unprocessed foods. Ok. Moving on.

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The first thing you are going to want to do is peel the skin from your carrots and apples.

After that, you are simply going to steam them! I steam the carrots whole (cut in half if you like) and I cut the apple in a few pieces. Steam them separately bc the apple will get soft much quicker than the carrots. You want to be able to easily pierce through them with a fork. Put to the side when they’re done.

In the meantime you can have your oven preheating to 400 degrees. Stab your sweet potato a couple of times with a fork and stick in the oven for about 45mins to an hour depending how large it is. When it’s done I suggest cutting it in half and leaving to cool for at least 15 mins.

For the peas I usually use frozen. I find they taste much fresher then the cans. For the peas I usually just boil them in water for 10 mins or less until they are soft.

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After they are all steamed and cooled down you will want to blend them up! You can either use a food processor or blender. If I’m doing a smaller batch I usually use a food processor. I try to not add any liquid to the food and just blend up as is. If you feel it’s too thick just add a splash of water.

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Time to squeeze your food into packets! I like to do this bc it’s super convenient if you need to feed them when you are out of the house. You can just bring the packets in a cooler bag and go! Don’t feel you need to buy this machine if you don’t really have a need to put the food in packets. You can simply put it in ice cubes trays and freeze it if you made a big batch or just in a container in your fridge if you plan to use it all up in a few days.

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But for anyone interested this is the “Infantino Fresh Squeezed Squeeze Station”. Say that five times fast. I bought mine at Babies r Us and I believe it was $20. I’ve seen them at Target as well. It comes with 10 packets (no they are not reusable). Then they sell packs of 50 packets for $15. It will still be cheaper in the long run to make these then to buy the packets at the store that are usually $1.39-$1.99 for organic.

Here are a bunch of photos that show you how easy it is to use this machine. I puréed everything except the sweet potato. That’s soft enough to just scoop right in.

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As you can see, you just scoop your food into the top and then press it down into the packets! Really easy! And you can definitely mix up these 4 foods (unless they are your babies first foods I would recommend doing them separate).

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After that you can put the tops on them and label what each packet is and the date you made them. You can put them in the fridge if you plan to use them in 3 days. Otherwise stick some in the freezer! Whenever you want to use ones from the freezer take them out and put them in the fridge the night before. Do not microwave them.

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That’s it! Yes, it’s more time consuming then just buying baby food but have you ever smelled a jar of baby food? It makes me want to gag! Fresh is best. Please let me know in the comments what age groups you want to see next and if there are specific foods you want to see combined with others! And please follow my blog :)

Natural Egg Dye…Fail.

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I’ll admit, this was a pretty last minute idea. I didn’t do much research and just kinda assumed it would work haha. While this didn’t work out this year, I fully plan to try again next year but with a better game plan (more research)

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I won’t bother going into exact measurements of everything I used since it didn’t work. But it started out well enough, with these vibrant water colors! I pretty much boiled each ingredient with 2 cups water. I used yellow onion skins, golden and regular beets, blueberries, purple cabbage and spirulina.

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I knew I would have to leave these in the water longer then I would with traditional dye. I left them for 25 mins before I first checked.

The first one I checked was the spirulina and when I took the egg out it was still completely white! I decided to try to just rub some of the powder on the eggs in a bowl to see if it made a difference. It didn’t.

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I left all the other eggs in the water for 15 more minutes. To the naked eye it looked like the onion skins, blueberries and red beet worked! I was like, ok at least 3 colors worked! But then as I rinsed them in the sink my dreams rinsed away with the color. As soon as you rub the egg the color comes right off!

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I left some eggs right from the water without rinsing so you can see the difference.

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The orange ones are from the yellow onion skins.

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Green spots are the spirulina.

There you have it! My failed attempt at all natural egg dye. If you have ever successfully done this, please leave me a comment telling me how!

Happy Easter!

***update*** After I took the photos for this post I left the eggs out on the plate. About 20 mins later I went to pick up the bright orange egg. At this point it was completely dry so I rubbed it and the color didn’t come off! I really don’t know why I thought I had to rinse them straight from the colored water! So this will work (at least with the onion skins, beets and blueberries! )I have them resoaking now to get a more vibrant color. I will do another update with more photos***

 

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Darbster Bistro

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A couple months I went to Darbster Bistro in Boca Raton, FL for my birthday dinner. I actually wrote this post the same week I went but had issues with my photos so I had to hold off on posting! But I’m happy to share my experience now! Darbster is a vegetarian (mostly vegan) restaurant and has a whole raw foods section to their menu. I had always heard great things about them so decided my birthday was the perfect opportunity to check it out! They have a location in West Palm Beach as well.

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Jesse (my husband) and I arrived for our reservations at 6pm. South Florida didn’t disappoint on the weather, so we sat outside to enjoy the night. The ambiance was really relaxing and they had live music playing. We were so excited to check out the menu! Though we aren’t vegans, we have been in the past and still enjoy vegan and raw meals whenever we can.

Our waitress was really sweet and had no problem answering all of our questions and giving her opinion on all the dishes.

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Everything looked so good, it was hard deciding what to get. First up we shared the soup special of the night which was a raw cream of spinach soup.

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For anyone who isn’t familiar with raw foods, raw means anything that isn’t cooked above 115 degrees. They believe that after food is heated above that point, nutrients are lost. So this was a room temperature soup. We loved it and thought it was really flavorful. We asked and the base was made from cashews.

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I’m not a big drinker (literally probably 3 times a year) but I couldn’t resist the organic peach nectar martini. It was SO good. I hate when drinks are over powered by a strong vodka taste and was worried this would be the case. But it was literally perfect!

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Jesse had one too after I convinced him he shouldn’t be embarrassed to get that instead of a beer haha

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As you can see we hated the soup (kidding).

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Here we have my main dish! I ordered the special of the evening which was eggplant ravioli. It was divine. So flavorful and fresh. You would never know it was vegan.

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Jesse decided to get another special of the night, vegan enchiladas. Again, they were so good! He kept saying he would eat these over real enchiladas any day (and that’s coming from a Mexican)

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Perfect food, drinks and atmosphere. Next up, dessert! This had to be the hardest decision of the night.

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After a long conversation with the waitress where we asked her to describe every dessert, what was most popular and what her favorite was- we made a decision. Vegan brownie a la mode and vegan strawberry layer cake.

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Literally my mouth is watering thinking of these! I can not express to you how much we loved these desserts! You would never know they were vegan and they were super decadent.

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Yes, I just inserted 50 pictures of dessert. The night couldn’t have been any better. We loved it there and can’t wait to move back to South Florida so we can become regulars!

I highly recommend if you are in West Palm Beach or Boca Raton to stop in! Not only is their food amazing but they are actually a non-profit and 100% of the profits go to their foundation to assist animal welfare and rights. Pretty awesome. You can find all their information at http://www.darbster.com

Urban Remedy Juice Cleanse

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Today I’m going to share my experience doing a 1 day juice cleanse from Urban Remedy! Urban Remedy is a wellness company based out of California. They have a bunch of individual juices and nut milks, along with cleanse kits. I did their “Signature Cleanse”. All their juices are organic and cold pressed.

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I’m not a stranger to juicing and was very excited to start the cleanse. It came with 6 different drinks. They recommend drinking the juices in 2 hour increments starting at 9am and ending at 7pm. They have a ton of resources and exact directions for beginners on their website.

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The first juice of the day was a green juice. “Brainiac” was made with cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley and lemon- all organic. This one isn’t sweet at all and the first taste may be a shock if you aren’t used to green juices! But I absolutely loved it. It was so fresh and tasted crisp and clean. I was worried I was going to get hungry throughout the day but decided to take it one hour at a time!

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Next juice was 2 hours later. I was grocery shopping at Whole Foods and made sure I brought my juices with me! “Time Machine” was made with ionized water, lemon, Acai powder, cayenne pepper and stevia. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one, but I was pleasantly surprised! All the flavors went really well together and it was refreshing!

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Between my 2nd and 3rd juice I did feel hungry. I drank some lemon water as they recommend on their website.

“Flush” was another green juice that had cucumber, lemon, ginger, mint and apple. This one was SO good. My favorite of all the ones I had had so far. The lemon and apple made it perfect.

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“After Party” is made with carrot, apple, lemon, ginger and beet. I was catching on that as the day progressed the juices got sweeter-and I wasn’t complaining! This one was so so delicious! It gave me a great boost of energy and I actually decided to go to the gym. I started the cleanse at around 11am and at this point it was around 5pm. They say you shouldn’t do any heavy activity but I was feeling really good and just wanted to hit the treadmill for a bit.

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I waited until right before my 5th juice to go to the gym and drank it as I walked/jogged on the treadmill. “Warrior” is made with ionized water, raspberry, chia seeds and stevia. Let me tell you, I felt like a warrior! Honestly I’m not someone who gets super excited to go to the gym. It’s always a struggle and even after I’m there it’s a struggle to stay on the treadmill for more then 30 mins. But I seriously felt amazing! I just had so much energy and actually stayed for an entire hour! I really didn’t expect to feel so good but was loving it.

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I ended the day with a relaxing bath and decided to have my last drink in the tub. “Relax” is actually a nut milk made with ionized water, cashews, vanilla extract and cinnamon. This drink was HEAVENLY. I’m a big fan of nut milks and this one tasted so fresh and homemade. I didn’t want it to end!

All in all I had a great experience with this! It really made me want to incorporate more all juice or smoothie days into my life. I wasn’t expecting to feel as good as I did. This is a great company with fresh products. You can get all the information you need at http://www.urbanremedy.com. Happy cleansing!

Simple French Toast

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I had no plans to make French toast today. However as 1pm crept up and I still hadn’t had time to make breakfast for myself I decided to make it fancy (kinda). I realized I had all the ingredients to make a basic French toast recipe so I did and it was delish.

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You will need:
•1 egg
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•1/2 tsp cinnamon
•1/4 milk of choice
•2-3 slices of bread (the recipe was supposed to be able to make 4 slices but it only did 3 fully!)
•Either extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or organic butter to grease pan with.
•Fruit or chocolate chips to top
•Honey to drizzle

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First you want to mix your egg, vanilla and cinnamon up! Whisking it with a fork works just fine.

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After you have those 3 ingredients mixed up, pour in your milk. Cute baby hand alert.

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Next put some love into your food! I didn’t realize until I was looking back at the pictures I took that the milk formed a heart when I poured it in!

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Pick your bread to dip! I used a gluten free bread and a whole wheat bread.

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Coat both sides evenly and place on a medium heat pan that has been lightly greased with your choice of oil/butter.

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If you have cookie cutters you can always make it fun and kid friendly with different shapes!

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You will want to flip your bread a couple times on the pan until you get the desired texture you want. Mine are pretty dark because I’ve always loved “harder” French toast. I like it really well done. Then you can top with your chocolate chips or fruit (or both) and some honey! Enjoy.

5 Awesome Instagram Accounts!

Hi everyone! I thought I would do a fun post featuring 5 Instagram accounts that I am loving. If you guys like this I may make it a monthly thing! Lets get into it!

1: @katieeatsbeets

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Katie is one awesome mama! Not only does she have a beautiful account, she is an amazing artist! She is the graphic designer who created my new banner for the blog! I love it so much! She was a dream to work with and totally got my vision!

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Her page has everything from delicious recipes to gorgeous glimpses into her life in Hawaii.

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Her beautiful children included! You’ll get a bit of inspiration from all angles! Please follow her and if you need a logo or banner made, she’s your girl!

2. @hawthornefamilyeats

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Heather is a mom of 3 who is focused on feeding her kids real whole foods!

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Her page is filled with meal ideas for kids and toddlers! Everything from lunch to super cute “Greek yogurt art”

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She also recently started the hashtag #kidseatingwhole It’s a great way to get ideas from other mamas and to connect with like minded people! Check her out!

3. @funkyforestfood

Liz is a plant eater who posts seriously colorful photos!

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Make sure you check out her page which also has the link to her blog!

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Did I mention I’m also obsessed with her tattoo?? So awesome!

4. @mamaeatsplants

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Amanda is a healthy mama who has healed her rheumatoid arthritis by changing her diet!

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Her page is filled with great meal ideas and cute pictures of her kids!

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Check out her Instagram that also has her blog link! Love her page!

5. @plantappetit

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Jerilyn is an LA living mama who posts colorful meals and cute pics of her baby!

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Her meals are always filled with tons of veggies and little star shapes! Too cute!

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There you have it! 5 Instagram pages I’m loving! Show them all some love!