health coaching

How to Spend Less Stocking a Healthy Pantry

Two things that can drain your energy?

Grocery shopping and stressing about spending money (which often go hand in hand!).

One resource that addresses both of these?

Thrive Market.

What is Thrive? It’s a “membership community that uses the power of direct buying to deliver the world’s best healthy food and natural products to our members at wholesale prices, and to sponsor free memberships for low-income American families.”

The way I describe it? Think Whole Foods meets Costco meets Amazon Prime... with a philanthropic mission. They aim to “make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone” and “when you buy a Thrive Market membership, you’re also donating one to a low-income family, teacher, veteran, or student.” You can learn more about how they give back on their site, and if you want a free 30-day trial + 25% off your first order you can sign up here*.

Prices for everything are 25-50% off retail, and while you do pay an annual membership fee of $59.95, most members make back their membership fee in savings within their first 2 orders. I’ve been a member for about 3 years now… and

I saved $3,144 last year alone (!!).

I’ve found that I’m much more efficient when I grocery shop now and dread it less. I’m essentially just buying the produce I need and then I’m outta there, Supermarket Sweep style (if you didn’t grow up watching that show I’m sorry you missed out)!

Image from Chowhound

Image from Chowhound

Below is a breakdown of my typical purchases and the cost savings I see. To note, I’m comparing prices to Whole Foods because it’s the closest store to me that stocks these items.

You may notice less of a price difference compared to where you shop (for example, Wegman’s may have comparable prices, but it may be super far from you, or maybe you need to go to multiple stores when shopping to get all of the items you need).

I factor the time savings and convenience of Thrive into my evaluation of it (I used to send some orders directly to work to stock my snack drawer!), along with the perks of stocking up during sales and leveraging the free gifts they offer too.

Broths/Condiments:

  • Coconut aminos: 6.99 Whole Foods or 4.99 Thrive = $2.00 savings

  • Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar: 4.39 Whole Foods vs 3.19 Thrive = $1.20 savings

  • Red Boat Fish Sauce: 8.99 Whole Foods vs 7.49 Thrive = $1.50 savings

  • Fourth & Heart Grass Fed Original Ghee: 12.99 Whole Foods vs 11.99 Thrive = $1.00 savings

  • Nutiva Refined Organic Coconut Oil: 11.99 Whole Foods vs 8.99 Thrive = $3.00 savings

Baking:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour: 11.99 Whole Foods vs 8.99 Thrive = $3.00 savings (P.S. my favorite recipe I make with this is the Detoxinista Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies!)

  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour: 4.99 Whole Foods vs 3.99 Thrive = $1.00 savings

Staples/Snacks:

  • Epic Performance Bar, Lemon: 22.41 Whole Foods vs 19.99 Thrive = $2.42 savings

  • Artisana Cashew Butter: 16.99 Whole Foods vs 13.49 Thrive = $3.50 savings

  • Artisana Raw Tahini: 12.99 Whole Foods vs 7.99 Thrive = $5.00 savings

  • Purely Elizabeth Grain Free Granola: 6.99 Whole Foods vs 4.94 Thrive = $2.05 savings

  • Siete Chips: 4.99 Whole Foods vs 4.39 Thrive = $0.60 savings (this adds up when you eat these as much as we do! 😊)

  • Rao’s Tomato Sauce: 8.99 Whole Foods vs 8.69 Thrive = $.30 savings (I like that I don’t have to lug heavy items like this and stock up my pantry with about 4 at a time)

  • Banza Chickpea Pasta: 8.99 Whole Foods vs 8.39 Thrive = $0.60 savings

Personal Care Products / House Supplies:

  • Dr Bronner’s Lavender Castile Soap: 17.98 Whole Foods vs 12.99 Thrive = $4.99 savings (this does go on sale at WF a lot though!)

  • I also get laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, and pregnancy/baby products.

Lastly, back to the gifts! Each order can include a free gift, which you pick from a selection based on how much you’ve spent. They also do deals with certain companies every single week. Some free gifts I’ve gotten over the years:  paleo dressings and sauces, protein powders, and a reusable steel water bottle ($32).

As we welcome a baby girl into our family in the next few weeks, and time becomes that much more precious, I imagine that I’m going to love Thrive even more than I already do. I hope it helps make living a healthy life easier for you, too!

If you want to give it a try, click here* for a free 30-day trial membership + 25% off of your first order.

Let me know if you have any questions and happy saving!


*this is an affiliate link: if you become a full member I’ll receive $25 from Thrive as a thank you for spreading the word.

Coffee: The Great Debate

boston corporate wellness

Did you know that Americans spend around $1,000/year on coffee? I’m not judging, as I love a fancy latte as much as the next person (Blue Bottle, anyone?!).

But this substance is one of the most hotly debated in the health world, and there are a few facts about it that are particularly important to note if you’re workin’ on your wellness. Learn more in my blog post here.

If you feel like you’re constantly stressed, have trouble falling/staying asleep, and/or feel your sleep quality is poor, I’d nudge you to ask yourself “should I rethink that drink?”

If you don’t feel like any of these describe you, or you just don’t feel like reading, it’s all good!

The last thing I’ll share is that non-organic coffee is one of the most chemically-treated crops around, so if you imbibe regularly that’s something to consider.

My favorite organic options for home brewing? Hu Kitchen and Thrive Market.  If you’ve never used Thrive before, I wrote a post all about how it can help you save time and money when stocking your house with healthy staples.

Whatever you choose to drink, cheers!

Non-Slimy Chia Seed Pudding

Want a nutrient dense breakfast that takes under 2 minutes to make INCLUDING batching breakfasts for the week!? Look no further. I've been making this simple recipe on repeat, and there are so many variations that it’s hard to get sick of it!

Chia seeds are a superfood high in fiber, antioxidants, protein, omega 3's (they have more than salmon gram for gram!), and calcium (higher amount gram for gram than most dairy products).

Most recipes have you soak them but I don't love their texture after they absorb liquids (hence the title, non-slimy!), so here's my version:

  • 3TB chia seeds

  • 1TB cacao

  • 1 cup non dairy milk (the creaminess of coconut milk is great in this)

  • Optional: 1 date or 1/2 TB maple syrup, or throw berries on top to sweeten

  • Optional: 1TB of organic peanut butter and a scoop of collagen to add more protein and gut perks (plus who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate?).

  • Simply throw everything in a blender for a minute until it's mixed and store in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

This takes such little time to make yet keeps you full for hours. It’s also easy to transport (just throw it in a mason jar or small tupperware) so you can bring it to work and know you’ll have a healthy and filling breakfast or snack easily at your fingertips that will keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady.

Let me know if you give it a try and which variations you make!

boston health coach
boston health coach
boston health coach

Fight Stress With These 5 Foods

Do you want to use food to mitigate some of the impact that stress has on your health?

If you answered yes, this means that you:

  • Understand that being in a perpetual state of stress isn’t good for anything
  • Are tired of feeling exhausted and run down, and are open to taking action to feel like your best self so you can do more of what you love (and feel better when doing it!)
  • Are open-minded to using a holistic approach to make changes and figure out what works for your body and mind

I've put together a free guide, 5 Foods that Fight Stress, to show you some of the ways that stress steals from you, and some simple ways to take back your health.

Based on the info shared, you’ll…

  • Have a better understanding of where comfort food cravings come from
  • Know which delicious foods to seek out to nourish yourself and help balance your body, resulting in increased energy, less time fighting colds, and better sleep so you can wake up refreshed and ready for your day
  • Eat chocolate without judging yourself for it
  • Feel like you have more options than just sucking it up and assuming you simply have to feel this way
boston health coach

I hope you take a peek at these simple foods and start eating your way to less stress and better health soon!  

How to Stress Less and Sleep More

Have you ever experienced this vicious cycle? It goes like this:

boston corporate wellness

You're stressed out, so you have trouble sleeping, but then because you're not getting enough sleep, you feel more stressed. When you get up, after hitting the snooze button a few times and only being resuscitated by a caffeinated beverage, you still feel like a shell of yourself.

You know that 3pm coffee isn't going to help your head when it hits the pillow, but it seems like the only way you're going to make it through that afternoon meeting. So the cycle continues...

Learn how to break that cycle and restore your energy.

This free training focuses on stress and sleep, and the impact both have on our health and job performance. You'll discover how to take make lasting changes no matter what your life looks like or how busy you are. With these simple but effective tools, you can get back to feeling like your best self.

Catch the replay of the Stress Less, Sleep More live training here, and/or reach out for a free consultation to learn more about how to support your own efforts to get your energy, and life, back. 

Are You Making Career Choices With Courage?

The first of a new monthly series called "Courageous Career Choices" is done! I'm interviewing people from all industries, both entrepreneurs and employees, who have made intentional decisions (not just major career changes) to do work that's aligned with their values. 

The goal is to to inspire you if you're curious about:

  • the impact that our work can have on our health 

  • what makes people move from thinking about leaving their jobs to actually taking action

  • how to manage stress and prioritize wellness when in a big transition (or simply in your everyday life!)

Health and Fitness Connector Podcast Interview

I'm so excited to share another podcast interview with you! Kelly Duggan of the Health and Fitness Connector Podcast and I spoke all about why loving your work matters and what to do if you don't. We pivoted to talking even more in depth about wellness with a specific focus on the toxins/chemicals in our personal care products. 

Here is the episode: You Are What Your SKIN Eats

Want more in depth information on this topic? My other blog post digs deep into the connection between our personal care products and our health. 

What was most surprising to you when you learned more about what's in our products? What's been the hardest thing for you to transition to a "cleaner" version? 

What Can You Do With a Health Coaching Certification?

Do you have a passion for health and wellness? Find yourself consumed reading all of the latest research about a superfood or health hack? Are you thinking about bringing some of this into your professional life and wondering how to boost your credentials?

If so, read on.

Gifts of Health and Happiness

Trying to decide what to buy for your friends and family? I compiled a list of items all oriented to help your loved ones live healthier and happier lives. This guide is intended for the holiday season, but you can use it any time of year when shopping for birthdays, client gifts, a housewarming, or other occasions, too! 

4 Essential Steps to Find Work You Love (+ exciting announcement!)

If you get my newsletter, this isn't new information for you (Want to hear news first and get access to freebies? The form is at the bottom of the page!). For the rest of the world, I have an exciting announcement. Last week, I ran a webinar "4 Essential Steps to Find Work You Love" and officially opened registration for something big! 

4 Reasons You’re So Tired (and what to do about it)

Do you hit the snooze button four times before peeling yourself out of bed? Daydream about stealing a quick nap under the conference table during that afternoon meeting? Don’t feel like a real human until you’ve have a certain number of cups of coffee?

These trending images and messages of the sentiment “but first coffee” are cute, but they point to the bigger question at hand… why are we all so tired?!

Slow Down to Up Your Productivity

Do you ever notice that some of your clearest or most creative thinking happens in the moments you least expect it? Perhaps in the shower or right as you’re falling asleep?

In our society, we’re taught to “suck it up” or “power through” to get to these thoughts. If you’re stumped on a problem or have writer’s block, the common solution that’s encouraged is chugging coffee or chaining yourself to your desk until all hours of the night until something changes.

This is completely counterintuitive and science shows it’s actually the most inefficient way to achieve your objectives.

Flow + All About Aspire

I'm working on something REALLY exciting that I'm planning to launch this fall, and because of that I'll be doing a few blog posts per month instead of a weekly edition.

When I started to put pen to paper on this new idea for Aspire with Aileen, I found I was completely enthralled and in a total state of flow (and I'm not talking about a "yoga flow" in this case!).

If you've never heard of this concept, here are two great articles to get you up to speed.

What's In Your Wine Glass?

One of the assumptions I’ve noticed people have when I tell them I’m a health coach is that they assume I never drink. While my habits have certainly changed since my college days (phew!), I still enjoy the sound of the cork popping when opening a wine bottle and the after dinner lingering and conversation that ensues with friends and family.

Many of my clients have constant work events where wine is served, and they’d like to have a glass, but they’re not sure if “it’s okay” (we also talk about how to manage the multitude of not-so-nutritious food choices at those things!).

When it comes to “indulging,” for most things I’m an advocate of moderation, not restriction, as long as people are making their decision mindfully.

You Are What Your Skin Eats, Too

To be completely honest (as always), what I’m about to share is information I sometimes wish I’d never learned. It’d be much easier to trust that if something is sold that it’s been tested and proven to be safe.

I was shocked and disappointed when I found out that this isn’t the case. As I learned more, I’ve moved from disappointed to angry. I share this not to scare you or judge you if you use any of these products. I also don’t want to sound like the crazy crunchy girl in the corner, but I’m willing to risk that to raise awareness because of my mission: to help exhausted professionals restore their energy, feel like their best selves, and do what they love.

Stress: Why it Matters and What to Do About It

I recently led a yoga workshop called "From Stressed to Savasana." When preparing the content for the post-yoga flow discussion, I took a step back to examine the importance of managing this common emotion. 

We all know that constantly feeling stressed doesn’t feel good. But other than not enjoying the way it feels, why is it so important to address?

Because the majority of disease is linked to stress. Over 80% of visits to doctors are stress related, yet only 3% of the time is stress management covered (source). 

5 Simple Healthy Travel Tips

It’s almost summer! This upcoming season brings a lot of change in routines and mindsets. We may notice a slower pace at work with colleagues taking vacation or may be traveling more ourselves.

Many of my clients, trying to commit to healthier habits, get stressed when it comes to travel time. One client does a lot of driving on a weekly basis for his role in recruiting, and other than being concerned about sitting so much, he worries about finding nutritious meals on the go.

Whether you’re traveling for work conferences or family vacations, here are some tips to keep those healthy habits at the forefront of your mind!