Getting Healthy With Thrive Market

Thrive-box

Have you guys heard of Thrive Market yet? It’s a new membership-based online market full of all the natural, organic and non-GMO food, beauty items that you love at 25-50% off retail prices. I decided to give it a try when I discovered that they offered a free one month trial PLUS an extra 25% off your first order PLUS free shipping for orders over $50. I liked the idea of it even more when I discovered they followed a one-for-one model — for every person who subscribes to Thrive Market they give a free membership to a low-income family giving them access to great nutritional items for less. What a great thing!

thrivestandards

On Friday I placed my first order. We’ve started a new gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO eating plan so this was a great place for me to stock up on some great pantry basics. We’re also trying to avoid toxins, chemicals and parabens in our hair and skin care as well as cleaning supplies so I decided to grab a few things that I was out off.

In full disclosure, I ordered 16 items for $109 — with 25% off and free shipping my grand total was $84.25. I had a few higher priced items including some moisturizer, almond butter, organic raw cashews and organic grass fed ghee, so I felt like this was a good price. We have a camping trip coming up in a few weeks so I also wanted grab a few items for hiking snacks thus the granola bars and jerky treats. They’re aren’t things I would normally buy but I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to find gluten free granola bars and I knew that the jerky was a great deal. You can see everything I got here.

Thrive-inthebox Thrive-stuffSome of the other things you can find at Thrive Market includes:
-canned fruits and veggies
-non-GMO corn items
-baby food
-diapers and baby accessories
-vitamins
-makeup
-hair and skincare
-home cleaners
-spices
-baking supplies
-teas
-shop by category such as paleo, gluten-free, raw, vegan, moms, staples

I also thought it would be fun to do a bit of a price comparison to see if I really saved money. Check it out: PrintAs you can see I save money on everything other than the almond butter which cost about $1.50 more on Thrive than the price I found on Amazon, but overall the savings were pretty significant! And I didn’t have to leave my house! I love the thought that I could get all my pantry staples this way and save my grocery runs for things like fresh produce, meat and cheese. I’ll definitely be keeping my membership to Thrive with this kind of savings.

If you want to give Thrive Market a try just use this link (http://thrv.me/34RJTo) to their page and then let me know what you think! Remember, your first month of membership is not only FREE but you also get an extra 25% off your order plus free shipping over $50. Try it for yourself!

 

3 Step Roasted Chicken

3 step roasted chickenAfter eating my weight in chocolate this weekend from all of the Easter festivities and fun, J and I are back to healthy eating (and a few pieces of leftover chocolate when needed). Lately I’ve been following less recipes and instead have been making quick and easy dinners that I can just throw together with whatever is in the pantry and fridge. And lately I always try to have a whole chicken or two in the freezer.

Enter the roasted chicken.

Like many people, I was initially intimidated by the chicken roasting process. After all, some recipes require all sorts of complicated instructions from the tying of legs together, rubs, brines, stuffings and other complicated measures that make it seem like roasting a chicken is near rocket science. Thankfully it isn’t. And while I absolutely LOVE a brined chicken, I rarely plan far enough in advance for that.

Today I’m excited to give you the easiest, quickest way to roast a chicken. This seriously could be the easiest thing to make. Trust me! In fact, it’s so easy that you can finish it in just three steps. The finished chicken will be full of flavor with a golden crispy skin and moist and delicious meat. It’s so good that I think it might become my go-to entree for when we have friends over for dinner! Just add a side salad and you have a meal!

Are you ready?

What You’ll Need:Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

– defrosted whole chicken
– a lemon
– olive oil or butter
– salt and pepper
– fresh herbs of your choice — my favorite combo for chicken is rosemary and thyme
-cast-iron skillet or roasting pan

Get Cooking:

Step 1 – Prepare the chicken.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Preheat your oven to 425° F. Take out your chicken, remove whatever is inside it (gizzards and usually a freshness packet – I just toss all of this), rinse the chicken inside and out and pat it dry. Place the chicken in a skillet or roasting pan and rub it generously all over with olive oil or butter. I like to separate the skin from the body with my fingers and try to rub some oil or butter in that in-between space as well. Sprinkle the chicken with a generous amount of salt and pepper inside and out, then stuff the insides with the lemon (cut into slices or wedges) and a bundle of fresh herbs. It’s ready to cook!

Step 2 – Quick roasting. The secret to a crispy but moist chicken is to start hot and then finish cooler. With your chicken all prepped and ready, place the skillet or roasting pan in the oven for 15 minutes at 425°F

Step 3 – Cook until done.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetAfter your 15 minutes is up, turn the oven temperature down to 375°F and continue to cook your chicken for 45-60 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190°. Larger birds might take an extra 10-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and enjoy while it’s still warm!

Easy Candied Walnuts (or Pecans or Almonds)

IMG_2719

Merry Christmas everyone! Can you believe that Christmas is just two days away? This season has gone by SO fast! J and I were in Southeast Asia Thanksgiving through the first week of December (photos coming!) so I feel like we had to jump straight into holiday fun in order to keep up.

We’ll be spending Christmas Eve with our other family (not blood related but family in every other wonderful way) and I’m in charge of bringing a salad and rolls. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of rolls I want to either make or just heat and bring and even what kind of salad to make. One thing I do know — I want candied walnuts on my salad! Nothing makes me gobble down a salad faster than sugar coated nuts hidden in the greens. I used to buy them pre-made at the grocery store as I bet many of you also do. Can I make a request? STOP IT! Seriously, these are so easy to make and are so inexpensive compared to the pre-made nuts. Add a little cinnamon for some holiday flavor or a shake of cayenne if you like a bit of heat.

Here’s what you need:

1 Cup Walnuts (whole or pieces)*

1/4 Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

*you can also use pecans or sliced almonds instead of walnuts

IMG_2715

Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add all of your ingredients. Stir everything around the pan continuously for about 5 minutes.

At around the 5 minute mark you’ll notice your sugar beginning to melt. Pay attention at this point and keep stirring, trying to get all the walnuts coated as the sugar melts. The sugar and nuts can quickly go from golden to burned at this point so as soon as the nuts are well coated and golden, remove from heat.

Pour your candied nuts onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts from each other with a spatula. They will be hot! Do not touch them with your fingers.

IMG_2716

After about 5-10 minutes your walnuts will be cool and ready to gobble! Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

IMG_2718

One last tip: if you let your pan cool, the sugar will solidify and seem almost impossible to remove. Don’t throw away the pan or panic! Instead, fill your sugar-assulted pan with water and bring to a simmer on the stovetop. The sugar will melt with the water and your pan will be super easy to clean!