Company I Love: Thrive Market

Let’s just get this out of the way: This is not a sponsored post, and I’m not being compensated for it in any way. I bought my Thrive membership with my own hard-earned money. I’ve been impressed with my membership and the company as a whole, so I wanted to share it with you so you can benefit, too!

True story: I wrote most of this post (including the previous paragraph) a couple of weeks ago and never got around to finishing it. Then today, after I placed my Thrive order, a message popped up, saying that if a friend of mine uses this link, I’ll get Thrive credit. So now I know that, but I still love the company, and all of what you’re about to read is 100% true.

What is Thrive Market, you ask? Thrive is basically an online version of Costco, only it’s all healthy stuff and you don’t necessarily have to buy in bulk. You pay an annual membership fee ($60), and that gives you access to tons of discounted healthy products, ranging from cereals, snacks, and nut butters to beauty products to pet products. It doesn’t take long to make up that annual fee, as the products are all things I’d buy anyway, and they’re a dollar or two cheaper than what’s in the store. Even better for me is that a lot of these things are products I can’t buy locally, so having them delivered to my door is really convenient and saves me an hour-each-way drive.

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My last Thrive Market order, at least what you could see from the top of the box. I really like those Miso-Cups and the seaweed snacks. If you spend more than $49, you get free shipping, so I added a few more Miso Cups than I probably needed. Nom nom nom.

One of the best things about Thrive Market is its Thrive Gives program. For every paid membership, they donate a membership to a needy family, and every time you check out, you have the option of donating a percentage of your total to one of those families. Since most families living in poverty can’t afford nutritious food, this is a fantastic program.

Thrive isn’t going to replace your weekly trip to the grocery store — you can’t get fresh produce, frozen veggies, or anything else perishable. But they have great bargains on pantry staples, and especially if you’re like me and have to take half a day to restock those staples, Thrive is a great option. I highly recommend it.

If you’re interested in Thrive, you can try it for a month before paying the annual fee. And if you want to be a good friend to me, remember to use my link. Wink wink.

What’s your favorite healthy pantry staple?

Have you ever tried Thrive Market?

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You Can’t Hack It All

Two of my colleagues and I are teaching a “how to be a grown-up” class to seniors during our school’s homeroom-type period. Since our curriculum is a work in progress, we recently had the kids brainstorm all the things that they thought they should know but didn’t yet. Most responses were what we expected –how to file taxes, read a lease, buy insurance, etc. But one question was different.

“Can you teach us some hacks to make college easy?”

No, we could not. We could review study habits and give tips for staying organized, but a make-college-easy “hack” does not exist.

“Work hard. Constantly.” That was our “hack.”

I can’t really blame that student for seeking a hack. Every time you go online these days, you’re bound to see some sort of article/Pinterest post/Facebook clickbait about a “hack” — some way to make your life easier. Admittedly, some of these are pretty genius [like these], and I’m all for making life easier… as long as that easiness doesn’t come through sacrificing life’s quality.

Here’s the thing: Some things in life are hard, but if we don’t work through the hard stuff, our lives will stagnate in mediocrity and we’ll never reach our full potential. We improve in all aspects of our lives only by going through those hard patches. Want to get stronger or run faster? You have to lift heavy weights and push through hard workouts. Want to learn something new? You have to study it, over and over, even — especially– the challenging parts. Want to have a lasting relationship? You have to work through the rough patches… and it’s hard.

If you avoid those hard activities, you’ll avoid the moment’s struggle, but you’ll also miss out on that race PR, the promotion your new knowledge could gain you, or a happy, lifelong relationship or friendship. So sure, use life hacks to clean your house faster or reduce your morning beauty routine, but don’t try to “hack” the things that really matter, because skipping out on challenges means skipping out on greatness.

 

New Year’s Resolutions and Tentative Race Plans: 2016

The word “resolution” has gotten a negative connotation in recent years — almost as if making “resolutions” guarantees that you won’t follow through. I don’t really buy that, though. “Resolution” is just another word for “goal,” and I’ve got several goals I want to accomplish in 2016, so I’m embracing the term.

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Here are my big goals for 2016:

  1. Get my gut health straightened out. This is the most awkward of my resolutions, so I’ll start with it and get it out of the way. I  don’t talk about this much here (because who wants to read it?), but long-time readers have likely read about my gut issues ruining a great race and about at least one of my attempts to fix them. I’m sick of not feeling well, and of being told by doctors, “You have IBS and you just have to deal with it,” so I’m determined this year to get it straightened out. Anybody have any recommendations for good GI doctors in Colorado?
  2. Write every day. Every year — okay, every month or two — I make a goal to write more. “More” is too general, so this time I’m being specific.  I will write every day in 2016, even if it’s just for five minutes. Of course, the vast majority of that writing will be in my personal journal or another place that nobody but me will see, but that’s okay. Writing is writing, and if I want to get better at it, I need to do it consistently. On a related note…
  3. Keep a daily gratitude journal. I’ve read a lot about gratitude journals and how they help people keep a more positive outlook on life. A sentence or two a day doesn’t seem like much work to increase positivity, right?
  4. Do yoga at least twice a week. This is another goal I make often, but I usually make it too general — “Do yoga more.” As with the writing goal, then, I’m making a more specific and measurable goal. My flexibility is pretty terrible, and let’s face it: it’s not going to get any better as I get older unless I really work on it. Yoga has so many other benefits, physical and mental, that I really want to commit to doing it regularly.
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    More of this needs to happen. And then maybe I’ll get flexible enough to do it right.

    And one more general goal:

  5. Have as many outdoor adventures as possible, including trying new things. I love to camp, hike, snowshoe, and trail run, so I plan to  do those things as often as possible.  I also want to expand my horizons and try things I’ve never done. Cross-country skiing? Stand-up paddleboarding? Backpacking?  Rock climbing? I don’t know, but I’m willing to try just about anything!

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    Outdoor adventures: I need them.

You’ll notice that none of my resolutions are running-specific. That’s because I’m not sure yet what my running goals are for 2016, and I certainly didn’t want to rush into any just for the sake of a blog post. I  do know I don’t want to run a spring marathon this year, because El Nino. Here are some races I’m eyeing right now; let me know if you’ve got any experience with or thoughts on them!

  • Horsetooth Half Marathon. This one’s a long shot because the timing isn’t great for me, but if it works out, I’d love to do it.
  • Run to the Shrine. This is a 10k in Colorado Springs that runs up a mountain for four miles, then back down for two. I’ve run it twice, and it’s an incredible challenge with beautiful views, followed by a free day at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Again, I’m not sure about the timing, but it’s on my short list, for sure.
  • Skirt Sports 13er.  I got a free entry to this race last year and ran it as a training run… and was reminded that I despise running races as training runs. I’d like to go back this year and actually race it. Plus, I applied to be a Skirt Sports ambassador, so fingers crossed that I’ll be running it as an ambassador!
  • Chase the Moon. Because it’s so much fun. I’m toying with the idea of running with a three-person team (instead of five like the last two years) or even, if I’m really brave, running it solo. I don’t know if I’m ready for a 12-hour solo run, though… which brings me to…
  • Tommyknocker Ultramarathon 12-Hour. I just read about this one yesterday, and it sounds like a blast. After every lap, runners draw a ball from a bin, and the color of the ball determines the loop they run next. It sounds fun, but again, 12 hours of running is fairly terrifying.

Obviously there are tons of races out there, so these maybe-runs might change. I’m open to suggestions! Whatever happens, I’m really looking forward to 2016 being a great year.

What are your goals/resolutions/plans for 2016?

Any suggestions for outdoor adventures and/or races? Anybody want to go adventuring with me?