Today is International Women's Day and there are so many reasons why this is my favorite day of the year. I've been positively influenced by many women in my life and they've shaped me to be the way I am today. It is important to recognize that women weren't always given the space to let their ideas be heard but with hard work and determination, we've made huge progress. 

As a food writer, finding brands that are predominantly owned and operated by women or have women in high positions of power are definitely those I want to highlight today of all days. 

1. The Pinole Project - Maya Jacquez

The Pinole Project, founded by Maya Jacquez, has transformed the way people eat oatmeal with its twist on the classic breakfast staple. The brands oatmeal is made with non-GMO heirloom Olotillo corn harvested from the farms of Oaxaca, Mexico. Plus, the brand is vegan and plant-based making it accessible to those with certain dietary restrictions. Find The Pinole Project on Amazon HERE. Starting on March 10, the oatmeal will be available on the brands website in three flavors: Peanut Butter & Cacao, Original, and Banana Cinnamon. 

2. Lifeway Foods - Julie Smolyansky

Lifeway is known for its probiotic kefir drinks made to both taste good and help the environment. Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods, has four missions for the brand: 1) work to provide consumers with hormone and GMO-free ingredients, 2) environmental responsibility, 3) local farming sustainability and 4) and global philanthropy. Whether you're looking to improve gut health or enjoy a creamy snack, Lifeway can help.

3. Purecane - Daya Fields

Many people bake to celebrate special occasions whether its birthdays or anniversaries. For International Women's Day, you might as well whip up a cake too using Purecane's all-natural zero calorie sweetener. Daya Fields, president of Purecane works on behalf of the brand to create tangible, socially-impactful change within the industries and communities they serve. 

4. Sacred Serve - Kailey Donewald

Sacred Serve was founded by Kailey Donewald with the goal of creating 100% plastic-free and fully recyclable ice cream cartons. After four years, Donewald finally has cracked the code with the creation of Sacred Serve - plant-based gelato that's good for you and the environment. The brand currently offers four flavors: Chaga Chocolate, Matcha Mint Chip, Coconut Salted Caramel and Saffron Chai Spice. 

5. Evergreen - Emily Groden

Waffles are probably one of the most delicious ways to start off the day and Emily Groden knows that. Groden, founder of Evergreen, created the brand with the goal of creating frozen waffles free from additives and preservatives typically found in the freezer aisle. Evergreen achieves its unique flavor from the use of real fruits, vegetables, nuts and spices that has waffle lovers cheering with delight.