Healthy Living on a Budget: My Thrive Market Experience

Healthy Living on a Budget: My Thrive Market Experience

Being conscious of what I eat, put on my body, and products I use to clean my house becoming part of my day to day. There was a time (a college time) where you’d find me making a bowl of mac and (powdered) “cheese” for dinner without giving it two thoughts. Now, knowing what I do about the importance of reading labels, and understanding what you are putting in your body,the thought of a powdered cheese dinner makes me cringe. As I’ve become more conscious of what I am eating, I’ve also experienced the sticker shock that comes with trying to eat clean or make healthy choices. Sometimes it hurts to put the more expensive organic, non GMO veggie in your cart when there’s a seemingly identical veggie that is NOT organic and probably genetically modified but he’s only .99! I am not perfect, by the books, or a 100% clean eater. I really try to pay attention to items I’m putting in my grocery cart from food, skincare, to cleaning solution. But guess what else I’m conscious about? MY BUDGET. Between planning a wedding, and having an inherent desire to always save a penny and get the best deal (must be the filipino in me), I am always looking for ways to stretch my dollar.  When I heard of Thrive Market, I knew we were destined for one another.

All About Thrive Market, My Experience and How You Can Save Too!

Click here to save 25%! On your first order!

Thrive Market is an online grocery offering up to 50% on healthy choices that are guaranteed to be all non GMO, they even offer USDA certified organic options when available. From chips, to face cream, Thrive Market has a bevy of healthy choices to stock your pantries. The best part? Your order is delivered directly to your door. I was a little skeptical to order things I needed and then be stuck waiting a week without them. Not the case with Thrive Market!  I have received all of my orders, THE NEXT DAY without paying any extra shipping *snaps for you Thrive Market!*

What I ordered?

Protein Powder: I have been on a smoothie kick for breakfast, and it’s no secret that the protein powders that are actually clean and good for you may not be so nice to your pocket book. Thrive Market is a great stop for protein powder. You can search by dietary restriction (gluten free, plant based, etc) and they offer such a good selection of brands and flavors.

Beauty Products:

What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it! Did you know that the beauty products, lotions, creams, deodorants you use actually get absorbed into the skin. This sure makes me think twice and read the labels when I am buying beauty products. I was so ecstatic to see that Thrive Market carried some of my favorite Natural Deodorant brands. I’ve also gotten a few face oils and moisturizers from Thrive Market, they carry favorite brands of mine like Acure  and Derma E.

Supplements:

Vitamins and supplements can be hard to shop for. There are endless brands and they all claim to be the best, cleanest, most potent combinations. I like shopping for supplements on Thrive Market because I know that their selections are going to be non-GMO and from trusted brands like Garden of LifeI turn to Thrive Market for my Garden of Life Raw Probiotics – this stuff is magic guys.

For the Pantry:

I have a love hate with walking through the aisles of stores like Whole Foods. I love seeing all of the healthy alternatives to everyday ingredients and pantry staples but it can be overwhelming. There are so many brands, flavors, different ingredients and new health trends coming out. Sometimes my mind tends to spin and I spend 20 minutes debating between which high fiber cracker needs to come home with me. Thrive Market helps me save time (and sanity) by allowing me to easily search what it is I’m looking for. Look at all of the different food and pantry items they offer below! Sauces, lentils, chia seeds, you name it Thrive Market  can help add it to your pantry

Have you tried Thrive Market? I would love to hear your experience, or Thrive Market favorites! If you have not tried and are curious, you can save 25% off your first order if you click this link! http://thrv.me/thelovelytwist 

*This blog contains affiliate links which means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage. Additionally, items mentioned on this blog may have been provided free of charge. All opinions are entirely my own.*

Winter Vegetable Soup – Easy and Delicious Comfort Food Recipe

Winter Vegetable Soup – Easy and Delicious Comfort Food Recipe

There’s nothing better than nice bowl of soup to cure your winter blues. During the winter months, I like to make a homemade batch of soup every Sunday for dinner. This winter vegetable soup has been one of my favorites to prepare since the weather turned cold. This recipe is easy and delicious with a comfort food flare. You can also  sub in some of your favorite veggies. ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (pro tip: most grocery stores offer butternut squash precut during the fall/winter months, check your precut veggies section for this..it will save you time!)
  • 2 cups fresh green beans
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 small yellow squash or zucchini (add both you like!)
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1-2 medium to large sized russet potatoes
  • 1 can of mixed beans
  • 1 can of white hominy
  • 16 -32 oz of vegetable broth (depending on how big of a batch you want to make). I always look for organic and low sodium options
  • Spices (add to your taste): minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, parsley

How to make:

  1. Start by lightly coating a large soup kettle with some cooking oil. Combine the diced onion, minced garlic and butter in the soup kettle and heat on medium till the onion is soft.
  2. Prep the other ingredients:
    • Wash and cut the green beans down to 1″ pieces, wash and dice the carrots and squash/zucchini
    • Skin and dice the potatoes
    • Drain and rinse the beans and hominy
  3. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer
  4. Stir in spices to taste
  5. Add the rest of the vegetables and bring soup to a boil. Once soup is at a boil, reduce heat and let soup cook for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. If the potatoes and carrots seem cooked through, you are ready to plate!
  7. I like adding garnishes of fresh cilantro and cheese to the top of this soup, it also goes well with a grilled cheese sandwich or some crackers.
  8. Enjoy!

This winter vegetable soup is so fresh, and easy to prepare. It’s one of our favorite to help us combat the winter blues. Do you have a favorite vegetable soup recipe? I would love to hear what veggies you like to cook up! For other easy, vegetarian meal ideas check out the recipies in the Eats page of the blog.

 

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Vegetarian Buffalo Hold The Chicken Dip; A Vegetarian Twist on A Tailgate Favorite

Vegetarian Buffalo Hold The Chicken Dip; A Vegetarian Twist on A Tailgate Favorite

We are well into the season of tailgates and crockpots (aka my favorite season of food). This past spring, I decided to switch to a plant based diet. For the most part, the transition has been easy and I never thought I was “missing out” on eating anything. UNTILL, fall was nearing and I thought of all the yummy tailgate snacks and dips I would have to steer clear of. Alas, I give you my recipe for vegetarian buffalo dip; a vegetarian version of the fan favorite “buffalo chicken dip” we all know and have grown to love.

When I first made this dip for my fiancé he could not tell the difference between this stuff and the old version. Actually, we both admittedly like this version BETTER. So break out your flannel, light the pumpkin spice candle, turn that football game on and ENJOY!

Ingredients:

  • One bag of riced cauliflower – I like the store brand from Fresh Thyme or Green Giant’s Riced Cauliflower
  • 1/2 Cup Quorn Meatless Chick’n Tenders (it’s vegan and delicious!), or Beyond Meat Chicken Strips – just heat them up and cut into smaller pieces.
  • Franks Red Hot Sauce – add to your spice level (because, what other hot sauce is there)
  • Go Veggie – Lactose & Soy Free Cheese – we’ve used Cheddar, and Monterey and Cheddar, they are both equally amazing. They also have vegan options. I’ve also used Dayia cheddar cheese too!
  • 8 oz of Tofutti Cream Cheese – it’s dairy free and delicious! If you can’t find Tofutti, sub in 2/3 cup of low fat or whipped cream cheese
  • 1 TBSP Dried Oregano, or if you want you can sub 1 TBSP dried ranch mix
  • Pepper to taste

 

 

To Dip

  • Naan Bread
  • Pretzel Chips
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Your fave veggies!

How to make:

Preheat oven to 425. Heat up the riced cauliflower per directions (I usually dump into a large microwave safe bowl and pop the rice in the microwave for about 2 minutes to soften) Once heated, if the cauliflower is not already in a large bowl, dump cauliflower into a large mixing bowl and stir in hot sauce.

Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a skillet and lightly brown your meatless chicken of choice. If I’m using the Quorn brand, I just add in the pieces since they are smaller. If I use Beyond Meat, I usually cut them into smaller bit sized pieces. Once cooked, add meatless chicken to the cauliflower and hot sauce. Stir so all pieces are coated. Add in your cream cheese, shredded cheese, and dried oregano. Stir in a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer dip to oven safe baking dish. Bake dip for 20 minutes or until top is melted. Add a layer of shredded cheese to the top and bake for 2-5 more minutes.

Let dip cool, and enjoy! We like to cut up fresh veggies and heat some naan bread with this dip. Pretzels are also AMAZING and oh so dippable.