Instagram changed my life.

Well, not quite.

I was an Instagram virgin up until 90 weeks ago, according to my IG account. I changed phones just so I could have the  Instagram app. I didn’t really know how it worked but I knew I needed it in my life. I’ve always been a sucker for photos especially the edited, enhanced filtered type.

 I got the app , took a few photos put the obligatory cool filter on them and I was happy.

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This was as close as I was going to get to being a professional photographer. I didn’t really know what else to do with it. A few friends added me and in turn I added them but I become bored with their photos because they would show up on Facebook anyway so I would see them twice. Clearly my friends took equally as unexciting photos as me. Shit got stale real quick.

A few more months in and I slowly started to find and seek out some Instagram accounts that would turn my wheels so to speak. I let the process evolve naturally only adding exactly what i felt drew me in.

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Now this is where I started to find out things about myself that I had forgotten . Things that reminded me of days of old. Things that I left by the wayside as I turned into a mature adult, wife, mother , taxpayer and dutiful employee.

I slowly found another world open up . I could feel myself shed layers of god knows what. Emotional baggage maybe? All I know is it felt right. I felt connected with like-minded people. The fact that they were strangers didn’t matter, it made the experience better.

I found inspiration from all forms, people and things. Inspiration I forgot existed.

This year has been a stressful, frustrating and trying year to date. Personally, family wise, career and financially. I relied on Insta every day to give me that hit of inspiration. It was my escape in to other people’s lives, photos and travels. When things got too stressful I dove straight into Insta so I could live vicariously through others. Not as creepy as it sounds,  trust me.

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Just recently while scrolling through my feed  it finally dawned on me that everyone  on there was representative of who I really was before life’s stresses knocks the shit out of you.

What I subconsciously felt drawn to surprised me. Over time I had managed to clock up a followers list that looked like it belonged to someone half my age. I even felt embarrassed to find enjoyment following some random young woman’s world travels. It became clear to me what makes me happy.

Again, like I said I was drawn to these accounts , it was very organic and something about them resonated with me .

I found myself attracted to anything or anyone that was following the raw food movement. Why? I have no idea or interest in being a high carb raw vegan. None. Pictures of green smoothies, cacao shakes overflowing from Mason Jars and plates of fruit hauls filled my feed. Colourful and healthy vegan families smiling fascinated me. I needed to know more.

Anything that showed sunrises, sunsets, crystals, yoga devotees, positive themes or affirmations. That stuff did actually lift me on those tough days and weeks. I found myself drawn to very positive woman who were half my age but were really kicking arse in the world. Looking at their kids, travels, clothes and what seemed like an awesome life really got me in.

As an old hippie at heart I immediately soaked up anything bohemian and gypsy like. Seeing young woman revelling in this lifestyle through their clothes and the music they listen to was like me stepping back into a time machine with old friends. Except the boho clothes are ridiculously over priced compared to when I wore this stuff. I’ve never seen cheesecloth, velvet or lace so damn expensive. This always makes me chuckle. My friends and I wore it because apart from loving the style it was so cheap.

I bonded with people , usually on the other side of the world who followed the same bands as I did and we shared photos amongst each other. Kindred spirits. I felt connected.

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So no , Instagram didn’t change my life but it did make the hard times just that bit brighter.

Kick arse cacao balls

1 cup dates, soak for 15 mins in warm water

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup cacao 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 coconut , desiccated or shredded

squeeze agave syrup, optional

Process the dates, almond meal and coconut

add in the cacao, oil, syrup. Whiz it around then scoop out and let sit for 20 mins . 

Roll into balls, dust in cacao or shredded coconut. Airtight container in the fridge.

Kick arse cacao guilt free balls

Having having a sweet tooth is hard work. Trying to resist all things chocolate just doesn’t seem right. Chocolate makes me happy . Simple as that. Chocolate helps my stress levels.

I had heard of cacao, I had heard that it was super healthy and tastes like chocolate. Healthy because it is chocolate in its raw state and not full of the rest of the crap that makes chocolate taste so amazing .Raw food, amazing health benefits and tastes exactly like chocolate. Bullshit I thought. 

It seemed like everyone around me was singing the praises of the stuff. I was still skeptical. Having a chocolate addiction will do that to you. 

Always not wanting to be left out with whatever fad is going around I decided I would try it. I wanted to be in the hip crowd. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to break away from my love affair with the fake stuff. 

Off to the local health food store I went. I told the girl I wanted Cacao , STAT. I was now on a mission to make these damn cacao ball things . I left with my bag of cacao, agave syrup and almond meal . 

Making these things in a blender was a bit off putting but I soldiered on with determination that my family would eat these balls for dessert. Goddamit. It was going to happen. 

Amazingly they were easy to make and looked pretty spesh when all rolled and dusted in the mighty cacao powder.

Now for the taste test. My first victim was my 18 year old son who happened to walk through the door at the exact time I was trying to bribe my 11 year old . Looking like I had been digging in the dirt with the amount of cacao all over me I managed to stuff one in his mouth. As he chewed and chewed then asked for a glass of water to wash it down he gave it the thumbs up. I was cunning enough to refer to them as “mud bites” ….”you know like the cafe down the road has?” I told him.

They are seriously delish. I am so amazed at how good they taste. even more so with a coffee. I make them all the time and they really do hit the sweet spot. I could only imagine how awesome they would be with a splash of liqueur in them. 

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