Thursday, June 8, 2017

Why I Love Thrive Market

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If you follow me on Instagram, you've likely seen Thrive Market pop up in my Instagram stories a few times. I joined the service back in October, and after a 30 day trial, I decided to become a member. Since then, I've been ordering from Thrive about once a month. I love sharing my favorite products on Instagram, and through those stories received several requests for a post and questions about the marketplace – so, here we are.

If Thrive Market is new to you, here's the gist: Thrive Market is an online health and natural foods marketplace that uses the power of direct buying to bring a huge variety of products to its members at wholesale prices (typically marked down 25-50%). For every year-long membership purchased (about $60), Thrive gifts a membership to a low-income family so they're able to access healthy, organic food and dry-good options at deeply discounted prices and have their food shipped directly to them. Pretty awesome, right? You can try Thrive for 30 days without commitment (and you'll receive an extra 15% off) by signing up here. What can you buy? Everything from organic makeup to supplements to toothpaste to tortilla chips - basically everything but produce and refrigerated food and products... they even have yoga mats if you need one. The real stars here of course are the food and pantry items, they carry a huge variety of products at affordable prices.

I initially tried Thrive for 30 days back in late 2015. I liked it, but at the time chose to not join the service for a few different reasons. A major one: Chris was working at Whole Foods, so his employee discount brought prices down to a similar place as Thrive so I couldn't see myself using it that often. And I wasn't thrilled with the amount of extra packaging included in my order, most of which was difficult to recycle. I held off, until October this past year, when I was looking for a few specific supplements that were priced fairly high at Whole Foods. My search brought me back to Thrive Market and I decided to give it another go. I was happy to see the product assortment had expanded considerably and when my order arrived I was thrilled to see they had changed up their packaging to be more eco-friendly and easily recycled with less plastic overall. Ultimately, I ended up purchasing a membership, a decision I didn't regret, especially when Chris left Whole Foods for his new gig just a month or so later. I love that I can find my supplements, Zephyr's cat food, and high quality organic cooking essentials, like olive and coconut oils and gluten-free/paleo baking supplies, for a lower price than what's available locally, and have it all delivered right to me. Thrive Market's selection is constantly expanding, and they offer a huge variety of foods to suit all dietary preferences – they have an awesome Paleo and gluten-free selection, as well as vegan, vegetarian, etc.

So, what do I rely on Thrive Market for? Below are just a few of my favorites, though each order varies here and there:

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Pantry items:

Thrive Market Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This olive oil has rave reviews for good reason. It tastes pure, it's organic, and at 24 oz. for $15, the price can't be beat. We go through a lot of olive oil and end up using about one bottle a month.

Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil: This stuff, man. It's the best - super high quality, pure, and delicious. I slather it on everything - my face, my eggs, my coffee (ok, slather isn't the right word exactly, but you get it). And it's nearly half the price on Thrive than our local Whole Foods.

Better Half Unsweetened Coconut Cream & Almond Milk: I usually order 4 boxes at a time for the month. I use this in my coffee - it's creamier than almond milk but not as thick as coconut milk. Plus, no carrageenan, which has been found to cause gastrointestinal distress and potentially stomach cancers.

Garden of Life Raw Fit Protein Powder & Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder: I use these interchangeably. Both are great plant-based protein powders, extra points for the Nutiva Hemp Protein because it's one ingredient, but I prefer to use the Raw Fit on heavy workout days.

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate: I usually add this to my coffee, sometimes my smoothies if it's a smoothie kind of morning. You can't taste it and it adds just a bit of thickness. Collagen is amazing for your gut and digestion and helps keep hair, skin, joints and nails healthy.

*Wellness Cat Food & Halo salmon treats: OK, so this one comes with a caveat: I recently found a store that sells Wellness for 10 cents cheaper than Thrive, but still, Thrive's price is about 50% cheaper than Whole Foods. This cat food is high-quality and grain-free and a good choice for Zephyr who (sob!) is getting old. The salmon treats took some getting used to (also, they smell terrible), but now Zeph loves them and I like that they're one ingredient. Note: you DO need to break them up, as the pieces are fairly large.

EatingEvolved Dark Chocolate: By far the best and simplest dark chocolate I've had. It's super creamy - no chalkyness - and has only three ingredients.

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar: I go through a lot of ACV - and Thrive carries it for about half the price of our local ShopRite, so I stock up. I use this as a facial toner, and drink a tablespoon in water before bed and mixed into my morning lemon water.

Supplements:

Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil: Ok, so this isn't technically marked down, but it's negligibly less expensive than Amazon and purchasing from Thrive is convenient. I love this product - no "fish burps" and a great way to boost digestion, gut health, and brain power.

Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health: 2017 is the year I eradicate chronic stress from my life and this supplement has been so helpful in balancing my hormones. I'm currently taking a break from it (i.e. I need to order more) but I would absolutely recommend asking a holistic doctor about it if you're feeling stressed and panicky all the time.

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care: The best probiotic I've taken. I switch these out off and on with Good Belly unsweetened straight shots for variety. I do want to try The Coconut Cult cultured coconut yogurt because I've heard some amazing things. I'm all about probiotics - since I started taking them I've experienced no stomach bloat and amazing digestion.

I've also found some awesome reusable sandwich bags that have completely replaced disposable sandwich bags in our home, some great storage containers, and when I run out of essential oils, I'll absolutely be ordering them from Thrive. Shipping is free after $59, and they often include a free gift in your order so you can try new products. Would I recommend Thrive? Absolutely, if you think you'll use it. It's made a big difference for us, but the key is knowing whether or not you'll order consistently enough to negate the $59 join fee and reap actual savings. However, it's encouraging to know that with every membership purchased, one is gifted to a family in need, providing them convenient access to organic and all-natural pantry and home items.

So there you have it! Have a lingering question? Ask in the comments and I'll be sure to answer (just be sure to check back)

Note: It should go without saying that this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own - as they always are.

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