The Paleo Approach Book Review

I recently received a review copy of “The Paleo Approach” by Sarah Ballantyne. Sarah runs the blog The Paleo Mom, where she chronicles her own health struggles, her research (as a PhD), and her protocols for reversing autoimmune disease.

The Paleo Approach

Her book came at a providential time, as I just found out I have Hashimotos thyroid disease (autoimmune disease-strong family history in our family) and I’m working to reverse it naturally. The things I was already doing to help with this fit perfectly with what Sarah talks about in The Paleo Approach: determining food sensitivities, healing the gut, and addressing lifestyle factors.

Of all the books I’ve read in the last two years (and I’ve read over 100), The Paleo Approach is definitely one of the most thorough and well-researched. Throughout the book, Sarah covers in detail:

  • What are autoimmune diseases and how do you know if you have one?
  • The causes of autoimmune disease
  • Leaky Gut and gut dysbiosis related to autoimmune disease
  • Foods that can cause inflammation, especially in those with autoimmune disease
  • Diet and lifestyle factors to help reverse autoimmune disease

Many people may think that this book isn’t applicable to them since they don’t have an autoimmune disease, but as Sarah points out, many of these symptoms can be associated with the early stages of autoimmune disease (and the best time to catch it):

  • allergies
  • mood issues like anxiety and depression
  • low blood pressure
  • digestive problems
  • fatigue
  • gallbladder problems
  • blood sugar issues
  • headaches and memory problems
  • joint or muscle pain
  • PMS
  • skin rashes
  • sleep troubles
  • thyroid problems
  • weight gain
  • recurrent yeast infections

Sarah recommends a very anti-inflammatory diet for the short term and suggests avoiding: grains, dairy, eggs, soy, legumes, processed foods, sugars, sweeteners, sugar, spices derived from seeds, alcohol and caffeine. After a month or so of this diet, she recommends re-introducing these foods slowly to gauge a reaction.

The Bottom Line

Unless you’ve eaten a clean, real-food, low-inflammatory diet your entire life, trying the protocols in this book for a month may have a tremendously positive effect on your health. If you have the early stages of an auto-immune disease, you can catch it early. If not, you haven’t lost anything!

Have you ever tried an autoimmune paleo protocol? How did it go?

Pete’s Paleo Pre-Made Food Review

I’ve gotten emails asking if I know of any pre-made food services (like the pre-made diet programs that you often see on TV) that are actually healthy and easy to order. Until recently, I didn’t know of any and I always suggested finding a local service or chef who could prepare foods in advance.

A few months ago, I heard about a service of this type and decided to try it when I had a crazy travel schedule for a few weeks and wouldn’t have as much time as I normally do to cook.

Please note, this service won’t be a fit for everyone, but for some, it will be perfect!

Pete’s Paleo

I met the owners of Pete’s Paleo, Pete and Sarah, last fall and was really impressed with them. Pete is a gourmet chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and Sarah is the founder of a completely natural skin care line.

I ordered a few weeks of pre-made food from them (check out the menus… it was a step up from what I was cooking!) and it came in vacuum sealed pouches in a specially refrigerated bag (it stays fresh and is never frozen).

I put the bags in the fridge and heated one up for lunch the next day. I must admit that my hopes were not super high for vacuum sealed food. I picked the roasted pork and mashed parsnips.

Pete’s wife jokes (or maybe not) that she married him after trying one bite of his food, and after tasting it, I can see why.

I don’t mind pork or parsnips but neither one was on my favorite food list… until I tasted Pete’s. I have no idea how he made parsnips taste so amazing, but they were up there with the best foods I’ve ever eaten (maybe he can guest post that recipe… hint hint?).

Every other food I tried was equally amazing and my husband and kids agreed. Ordering pre-made meals all the time isn’t in our budget, but if it was, I probably would. If I were still single and traveling a lot, these would also be a great way to have healthy food ready to go.

Bottom line: If you want 5-star restaurant food without the restaurant, Pete’s Paleo is a great option.

The Bacon

Another thing that Pete offers is uncured slow-smoked bacon. Do not order it! Once you eat this bacon you will not ever be able to eat regular bacon again!

From Pete: “Pete’s Paleo Bacon contains no sugars, nitrates or nitrites. It’s dry cured with salt, herbs and spices and cold smoked for two days.”

We ordered some of this bacon because I’d heard it was good, and it far surpassed its reputation. The only problem is that I now find other store-bought bacon tastes awful in comparison.

Bottom Line

Pete’s Paleo won’t be something that is in the budget for many people, but for those who are looking for gourmet pre-made meals or gourmet bacon, I can’t recommend it enough!

Have you ever ordered healthy, pre-made meals? Want to give Pete’s Paleo a try? Share below!

The Cheat System Diet Book Review

If you’ve ever tried Weight Watchers or another structured weight loss plan and failed or relapsed, you need to read this book: The Cheat System Diet.

I recently received an advance copy of The Cheat System Diet and I think it will be a valuable resource for a lot of people. Here’s why:

What I Love About the Book

Systems like Weight Watchers rely on portion control and calorie restriction. These can work for a short time but aren’t usually sustainable long term because they rely heavily on will power and restriction (both of which are mentally taxing). Additionally, lack of will power is not usually the cause of the problem and the mindset of dieting can do more harm than good over the long-term.

You’ve probably had this experience yourself or know someone who has: you start a diet and are gung-ho for a few days/weeks/months until you have a little slip (cheat) and then figure “Oh well, I already messed up for today so I’ll just eat the rest of this chocolate cake/bucket of french fries/pile of sugar.” This leads to a failure mindset and it is really difficult to get back to the diet.

Also, it may just be my natural rebel nature, but when I “can’t” have something, I want it more. The Cheat System Diet builds this natural desire in to a healthy eating plan in a way that let’s you keep your mental sanity and reach your weight loss goals.

I recently had the chance to meet Jackie Wicks in person and she is the real deal. She founded PeerTrainer.com after she struggled to lose the 60 pounds she gained during pregnancy. She is a busy mom with kids and she wanted to create a system that was do-able for other moms. She and I had the chance to chat over dinner and she is not only in great shape and inspirational but she struggles with the same issues that all of us moms do so she writes from a perspective of understanding.

The Cheat System itself is great, especially for those who don’t have any specific food intolerance and who have the goal of losing weight as it creates a framework for building a relationship with food. It encourages readers to eat certain foods (“Eats”) and limit other foods while still being able to enjoy them (“Cheats”). I like that it takes lifestyle in to account so you can earn more “cheats” by adopting healthy diet and lifestyle choices.

Unlike many diet books, The Cheat System Diet doesn’t encourage severe restriction or counting calories, fat, or any other factor. It encourages you to eat as much as you want of the healthy foods and to only consume the “Cheats” after eating your healthy foods for the day. This creates a focus on consuming the healthy foods rather than avoiding unhealthy foods and encourages consumption of more vegetables.

I like that Jackie delves in to cortisol and stress and explains that it is one of the reasons that diets, long distance running and other factors that increase cortisol can cause you to GAIN weight instead of lose it. She also recommends against snacking, which is beneficial for many people who are trying to lose weight.

I also like that Jackie addresses inflammation since this has been a big part of my own recovery from thyroid disease.

Exercise

I knew Jackie and I could be friends when I heard her talk about exercise. She advocates optimizing exercise and points out that less can be more, especially for those with cortisol issues.

She encourages walking and light exercise as well as weight training but first recommends a series of stretches and exercises that help align the body. I think that the “more is more” attitude toward exercise has created more problems for people since it stresses the adrenals and can lead to weight gain.

Overall, I think the Cheat System Diet will be really helpful for a lot of people, especially those with good intentions and good goals who have tried many diets without success. I think that it helps create a healthy relationship with food and can break the cycle of restriction/binging that many people have.

Ever tried a diet and end up falling off the wagon? Share your experience below!

Blendtec vs. Vitamix Review

I’ve been a die-hard Vitamix fan for over 7 years. We use it daily to make veggie smoothies, sauces, and to chop up food. I didn’t think I could ever be swayed from my loyalty to Vitamix so when Blendtec asked me to do a Blendtec review and compare the two side by side, I was hesitant.

I didn’t want to accept a blender to review and then write something negative about Blendtec. At the same time, I really appreciate honest reviews, even if they are negative, so I decided to accept the blender as long as they understood that it would be a completely honest review.

The Blendtec showed up and I promptly had to leave town for a few days and didn’t get to try it out. When I returned, life happened and I still didn’t get around to switching our blender for a couple more weeks. I still had my doubts that it would work well, but I knew that I would need to review it so I started researching the differences.

I first heard of Blendtec in the YouTube “Will It Blend” campaign where I watched them blend an iPhone into oblivion:

Blendtec vs. Vitamix

iPhone powdering aside, I started researching the specs of a Blendtec and how it compared:

Horsepower: Blendtec=3 – Vitamix=2
Watts: Blendtec=1580 – Vitamix=1380
Controls: Blendtec=computerized – Vitamix=manual
Blades: Blendtec=2 prong – Vitamix=4 prong
Height: Blendtec=15.5 – Vitamix=20.5 (I liked that the Blendtec was shorter and would fit under my cabinets on the counter)
Weight: Blendtec=8lbs – Vitamix=13lbs
Warranty: Both have seven year warranties, even on refurbished models (some Vitamix modelshave a 5 year warranty)
Testing Blendtec

Once I finally got the Blendtec out on the counter, I loved that it was short enough to store underneath the cabinets in our kitchen, even with the pitcher attached. Of course, once the kids saw a shiny new blender, they immediately demanded smoothies so I obliged.

I liked that Blendtec had a wider pitcher so I could fit more fruit in with less liquid. I added our usual ingredients:

frozen organic strawberries and blueberries
homemade water kefir
homemade coconut milk
vanilla
banana
spinach
Collagen hydrolystate gelatin (for protein)
Coconut Oil
At first, I wasn’t really sure how to work the computerized controls on the Blendtec but the quick start section of the user manual explained it all. I was initially opposed to the idea of the computerized screen but after using it with children and having spills, it was much easier to clean than the Vitamix controls.

My first impression was that Blendtec was LOUD but I was also impressed with how quickly it blended. It has a much wider pitcher than a Vitamix so the frozen ingredients could get to the blades more easily. Sound wise- the Vitamix and Blendtec were pretty comparable, though the Blendtec might have been a little louder.

It only took about 60 seconds to blend the frozen berries to the point that you could not even see strawberry seeds. Since then, I’ve used it for my morning coffee, for soups, sauces and to chop things and have had comparable results to the Vitamix.

Cost Difference

As I said, I had the chance to try the Blendtec for free, but I actually liked it so much that I purchased one for a friend as a gift. Both the Blendtec I purchased and the Vitamix we purchased years ago were refurbished and I’d highly recommend that option. At the time we purchased our Vitamix, the reconditioned model was $349 and we’ve used it for years. I’ve seen a new Vitamix online for only $378 and there are also some great deals on refurbished Vitamix models.

The refurbished Blendtec I purchased was only $279 and the designer model I got to try is $379 if purchased refurbished ($450 new).

I think both are well worth their money and both can last ten years or longer if taken care of.

The Results

This was a really tough decision for me. I think both blenders are great, but after using them side by side, I prefer the Blendtec. I never thought I’d like another blender more than my Vitamix, but there were several factors that swayed me:

Refurbished Blendtec’s are cheaper
The Blendtec fits under the cabinets, even with the pitcher on it so it saves counter space
The Blendtec’s stronger motor and wider pitcher make it easier and faster to use
7 Year warranty on the refurbished Blendtec
Cheapest Way to Get a Blendtec

I’d highly recommend getting a refurbished model when purchasing a Blendtec. You’ll save at least $100 and it has the same 7-year warranty as a new one. Mine was refurbished and it looked like new when I received it.

Refurbished models can vary by availability, but you can see which models are available refurbished here.

Ever tried a Blendtec or Vitamix? Which did you prefer? Share below!

Hydro Flask Review

I usually review books because I am constantly reading and love to share books with you that I enjoy. This week, I’m sharing something I also use constantly: my water bottle.

I drink water, kombucha, and herbal teas every day. At home, I drink out of a quart size mason jar with a Cuppow lid, but that doesn’t work as well on the go because a mason jar doesn’t fit in my car’s cup holder.

I have a Klean Kanteen and have used it for years (in fact, I can’t even count the dents it has now and it has served me really well). My only complaint with the Klean is that it is all metal and it doesn’t keep liquids cool or hot for long. If I use it to workout outside in the summer, my water is hot enough to make tea by the end of my workout.

I love the idea of glass water bottles, but they aren’t practical with my kids.

Until recently, I typically just loaded up the ice in my Klean Kanteen and hoped it wasn’t hot by the time I wanted to drink it.

A few weeks ago my husband and I went out for our anniversary and we stopped by our local outdoor sports store to get extra carabiners for our treehouse zip line. While he was getting the needed climbing supplies, I browsed the camping gear and saw something called a Hydro Flask.

What is Hydro Flask?

The packaging claimed that this Hydro Flask water bottle could keep cold liquids cool for 24+ hours and hot beverages warm for 12+ hours. I was skeptical but intrigued. I read the rest of the package and found that Hydro Flask was made with food grade stainless steel and a double-wall vacuum insulation to keep temperatures steady. I also noticed that the plastic lid was BPA free.

I noticed a store employee carrying one around and drinking out of it so I asked him about it.

He opened it and showed me the ice inside… and told me that he put the ice in the night before. Not only had it kept it cold for almost 24 hours, there was still ice in it.

I grabbed a purple wide-mouth bottle and a black bottle with a flip top lid for warm drinks and asked my hubby if they could be our anniversary gifts to each other.

Does it Work?

Fast forward a few weeks and I’ve tested them daily:

I used the coffee cup Hydro Flask with my special coffee and it stayed hot for 4+ hours (I finished drinking it then so I don’t know if it would have stayed warm even longer)
I put ice water in it in at night and then taken it with me the next day on errands in a hot car and working out and it still had ice in it when I got home.
I put fresh juice with ice and it stayed cold all day
Used it to keep homemade kombucha cold and carbonated all day long
I now use my Hydro Flask daily and it is pretty much the only bottle I use. If you’re ever in the market for a water bottle, I highly recommend them. These are the specific ones I’ve tried:

Black coffee cup size with flip top lid
Purple wide mouth size with regular lid and straw lid.
Do you use a water bottle? What is your favorite? Share below!

The Adrenal Reset Diet Book Review

I’m so excited to be able to share an amazing resource that I’ve had the advantage of knowing and using for several months. My doctor, Dr. Alan Christianson NMD, is releasing his book The Adrenal Reset Diet.

I interviewed Dr. Christianson on my podcast and his interview was one of the most popular episodes! He is a wealth of information and has personally helped me find answers to my own health problems and has helped thousands of others do the same.

The Adrenal Reset Diet

The first time I heard Dr. Christianson explain the concept of his adrenal reset, it explained all of the health problems and rising rates of obesity we are seeing today.

He used this metaphor: Imagine that your health is like a bathtub and that you can fill it with many things. You could put in water, or sweet potatoes, or shoes or really anything, but no matter what you’ve put in it, it will overflow when it reaches the top. This is how our health is. Our body can handle a lot of challenges from a lot of different sources but when the combination of all of those things reaches our limit and causes our tub to overflow, we will experience a health crisis of some kind.

Dr. Christianson explained that while any of us who have carried extra weight at any time are told to just eat less or exercise more, these can actually make the problem worse! In fact, animals in the zoo and in the wild are experiencing rising rates of obesity as well, even on calorie controlled or native diets.

The reason? Their bathtubs are overflowing as well and they are experiencing a variety of factors like increased chemical exposure, light pollution and declining food quality that are contributing to the problem.

Just as with humans, the body sees these as a danger and prepares for an upcoming famine or crisis by storing extra energy (fat). What do we do as humans when we gain weight? We eat less to try to lose the weight and we reinforce our body’s idea that a famine was coming, causing it to want to store even more!

Ever heard that most people who diet actually end up weighing more in the long run? They have trained their bodies to store fuel more efficiently and to hang on to weight.

Finally, an Answer!

The part I loved the most about Dr. Alan’s explanation in the Adrenal Reset Diet is his solution to obesity and hormone problems.

Instead of caloric restriction, lots of exercise and stress, he recommends creating an environment and schedule that encourage the body to naturally drop the weight and balance hormones because it no longer expects a famine.

He uses a unique combination of food timing, stress reduction, light exposure and sleep management to help balance your hormones naturally so that you not only reach your goal weight but have more energy and sleep better too!

My Own Story

I started working with Dr. Christianson about a year ago. Within the first months of working with him, I dropped close to 15 lbs of baby weight that I’d been holding on to since my last baby was born.

I used his Adrenal Reset protocols to nourish, relax and reset my body and to maintain my energy levels and health. I often get asked how I manage to “get it all done” each day including cooking real food meals, homeschooling my kids, maintaining my home and running the blog. Following the Adrenal Reset protocol has really helped me have the energy to keep up with everything and manage my stress levels.

If you struggle with adrenal issues and want some solid answers, this book may be just the thing to help you out!

Have you ever struggled with adrenal problems or hormone imbalance?

Non-Toxic vs. Organic Mattress Review

I’ve often read the statistic that we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, or over 2,500 hours per year, but I have to laugh because those hours are obviously not during the time of life with new babies or potty training toddlers.

Of course, those statistics are meant to highlight the importance of sleep environment since such a substantial part of our life is spent in our beds. I think sleep environment is even more important when we aren’t able to get enough of the best kind of sleep since we have to make the best use of the sleep time we do get.

The Problems with Regular Mattresses

I’ve written before about how to optimize your bedroom environment for the best sleep and even mentioned the importance of an organic mattress, but it took us years to finally decide on our own mattress and actually get it.

What seems like an inert and harmless thing, a soft pillowy mattress, is often a source of chemical exposure, EMF exposure and other problems.

Harmful chemicals

Mattresses can be a major source of chemical exposure. For instance:

Manufacturers are dousing them (mattresses) with highly toxic flame-retardant chemicals like polybrominated diphenyl ether, better known as PBDE, which do NOT have to be disclosed in any way.

PBDEs, which have been banned in Canada, Europe, and several states, build up in your body over time, and what you absorb or inhale does not go away. This is concerning not only because of the health problems PBDE is associated with (brain and reproductive damage, decreased sperm quality, thyroid problems and even cancer at high levels), but also because of how pervasive these chemicals have become.

Additionally mattresses can contain fire retardant chemicals like:

  • Boric Acid (reproductive and developmental toxin, used as a pesticide)
  • Antimony (may cause heart and lung damage, possible carcinogen)
  • Decabromodiphenyl Oxide (causes hair and memory loss, possible carcinogen)

EMF

Coil spring mattresses have the added danger of being high in electromagnetic frequencies. Sound crazy? Maybe not.

This article from Scientific American explains how rising rates of breast cancer and melanoma in the western world provide a possible explanation:

For unknown reasons the rates of breast cancer and melanoma have both increased steadily in the last 30 years. Exposure to the sun elevates the risk of melanoma, but the sun’s intensity has not changed in the last three decades. Stranger still, melanoma most commonly affects the hip, thighs and trunk, which are areas of the body protected from the sun. What is responsible for the left-side dominance and increasing incidence of these cancers?

An intriguing clue comes from the Far East. In Japan there is no correlation between the rates of melanoma and breast cancer as there is in the West, and there is no left-side prevalence for either disease. Moreover, the rate of breast cancer in Japan is significantly lower than in the West; only 3 percent of what is seen in Sweden, for example. The rate of prostate cancer in Japan is only 10 percent of that in the U.K. and U.S.

The researchers suggest an explanation based on differences in sleeping habits in Japan and Western countries. Previous research has shown that both men and women prefer to sleep on their right sides. The reasons for this general preference are unclear, but sleeping on the right side may reduce the weight stress on the heart, and the heartbeat is not as loud as when sleeping on the left. Still, there is no reason to suspect that people in Japan sleep in positions that are any different from those in the West. The beds in Japan, however, are different. The futons used for sleeping in Japan are mattresses placed directly on the bedroom floor, in contrast to the elevated box springs and mattress of beds used in the West. A link between bedroom furniture and cancer seems absurd, but this, the researchers conclude, is the answer.

as we sleep on our coil-spring mattresses, we are in effect sleeping on an antenna that amplifies the intensity of the broadcast FM/TV radiation. Asleep on these antennas, our bodies are exposed to the amplified electromagnetic radiation for a third of our life spans. As we slumber on a metal coil-spring mattress, a wave of electromagnetic radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies. When sleeping on the right side, the body’s left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.

Mold and Mildew and Mites, Oh my!

I read that mattresses doubled their weight every 10 years and I wondered why. Ben Greenfield explains:

Not only that, but since it’s a damp, dark area, the spring system in your mattress acts as an incubator for dust mites, mold and mildew. This is why spring mattresses double their weight after 10 years – all that dead skin, dust mite, feces particles and dust has to accumulate somewhere, and the springs are the place to do it. Now I’m not suggesting that you go outside and sleep on the dirt, but if you have a choice between a metal coil-spring mattress and plain ol’ dirt, the latter would be the way to go.

I didn’t realize how much of a problem dust mites could be, but:

Dust mites feed off human and animal dander; excess skin shed from the body. After ingesting dander, mites then defecate and the mites’ feces accumulate inside the mattress. A single mite can produce up to 2000 units of fecal matter in a period of 10 weeks. A harmful allergen, mite fecal matter has been proven to have a severe impact on health as well as sleep quality.

Female dust mites live about two months and can lay 100 eggs a month during this time.

Finding an Organic Mattress

Just knowing the problem does not unfortunately lead to a solution. Even after I’d researched the problem with conventional mattresses, I still had trouble finding the best alternative for us.

Most organic mattresses contain a mixture of cotton, wool and latex. On their own, these ingredients are generally considered safe but some of them can still be problematic in mattresses. Additionally, there is a lot of green-washing and mis-labeling in the mattress industry.

Terms like “natural” and “eco-friendly” are unregulated for mattresses and don’t meant that the mattress is organic. When it comes to the term “organic” for mattresses, this article explains:

If you see the word “organic”, it always means certified organic, which indicates the mattress has been certified by a third party. If a mattress company is going to call their mattress organic, it must be certified by an some kind of a third party organization which certifies products to be organic. An agency called “Control Union” is the only company that actually certifies latex – the main component of foam in most modern mattresses – as organic under the Global Organic Latex Standards (or GOLS for short).

Now here’s something important to understand: 100% organic mattresses simply do not exist. In reality, any mattress company claiming to have organic mattresses actually contains a mix of both organic materials and other natural components in their mattresses. However, a certified organic mattress does indeed actually mean that at least 95% of the latex used in that mattress is made from certified organic components. But most latex mattresses on the market are simply not organic because they’re A) not certified organic and B) they don’t meet those 95% standards.

For example, natural latex foam is a component you’ll typically find in many “healthy” mattresses. But given the cost, most companies include very little of the certified organic latex. For example, just 1 inch of the total 8 inches of a most natural latex mattresses is actually GOLS certified organic latex. That’s a pretty small fraction – kind of like having an organic apple orchard, with just 1/8 of the trees actually being truly organic.

Comfort

Finding a safe and organic mattress was the first priority but comfort was also really important to us. My husband and I take jujutsu together several times a week. It is a very physical form of martial arts that often involves throws, rolls and flying through the air so comfort was a priority.

Many organic mattresses I’d tried tended to be very firm and I wanted to find one that was supportive, but not overly firm.

On the other end of the spectrum, many organic memory foam mattresses can be too soft. Memory foam was developed my NASA to support astronauts as they adjusted to the force of gravity after being in space. Unfortunately, many memory foam mattresses are chemical based and contain flame retardants and they can be too soft for many people (this was our experience).

I wanted to find a mattress that was truly non-toxic yet supportive and comfortable and that would not cause problems with moisture, mildew and mites.

What we Chose

After much research and saving, (and after trying an expensive organic mattress that wasn’t the best for us), we finally settled on a non-toxic inert IntelliBED mattress and we have absolutely loved it. (If you have some time, check out the full story of how we finally settled on this, the bed that didn’t work for us, and the summary of my 200+ hours of research here).

To be really clear- the mattress we chose is not certified organic but I feel better about it than I did about any of the organic options. I also don’t believe that any one mattress is the right bed for every single person, but this one was absolutely best for us. I feel comfortable recommending it because even though a mattress is a big purchase, they also have a 60-day full money-back guarantee so you can try it risk free. (TIP: If you use this link and the code WellnessMama you can save 10% on anything in their store!)

The Bottom Line

Mattresses aren’t cheap, especially non-toxic ones but with as much time as we spend in bed, I thought it was well worth the investment for us. Also, the king size IntelliBED that we purchased with the 10% discount comes out to $6.25 a month (for the duration of the 30-year warranty), which was cheaper than the cost per month of many conventional mattresses based on when they recommend replacing.

If you’re considering a new mattresses, definitely do your own research and make sure you’ve found the best option for you and your family. It is an investment, but one that can benefit you greatly over the long term.

How to Get An Intellibed Mattress at a Discount:

  1. Go to this link and pick the bed (and other products) you want…
  2. Use the code WellnessMama to save 10%
  3. Try the mattress for 60 days risk free to make sure you love it as much as we do!

Have you switched to an organic mattress? If not, will you?

How to Get Real Food at Wholesale Prices with Thrive Market

I’m super happy to finally get to share about an amazing new company that I’ve been using like crazy lately. In fact, I was so excited about this company that I said “heck yes!” when I was asked to be an advisor (and investor) with them so that I could help them choose products moms and families need most.

Wholesome Food- Wholesale Prices

The company is called Thrive Market and it is a cross between Costco meets Whole Foods online. Think Costco wholesale pricing on Whole Foods quality foods and brands with the convenience of purchasing through Amazon.

Thrive has great prices on a lot of our non-perishable staples and household items. In particular, I’ve bought a lot of our common household goods and foods from them, such as:

Coconut Aminos (at literally less than half the price I can get online or locally)
Great Lakes Gelatin – less than Amazon
Liquid Castille Soap
Canned Wild Planet Tuna
Beef Jerky
So much more!
Great Prices on Great Products

Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online marketplace offering the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. For less than $5 a month ($59.95 annually), members can shop 2,500 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from more than 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to their doors at 25-50% below retail prices.

This innovative marketplace offers healthy brands like Weleda, Dr. Bronner’s, Spectrum Naturals, Garden of Eatin’, Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, Eden Foods, Earth’s Best, Seventh Generation, Garden of Life, Jason Naturals and many more!

I did a side by side comparison of many of their products, and not only are they less expensive than the same organic and natural products on Amazon or at my local stores, but they are often cheaper than the conventional alternative. For instance:

Natural laundry detergent at the same price (or slightly less) that conventional chemical detergent
Organic and chlorine-free diapers and wipes for the same price as Pampers or Huggies
Natural floss, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. for less than conventional store bought
Coconut aminos for the same price as regular soy sauce
Grass fed beef jerky for less than store bought regular beef jerky
In fact, I saved over $72 when I ordered three of our usual monthly products on Thrive compared to Amazon or local stores:

Collagen Hydrolysate
Coconut Aminos
Cinnamon Tingle Fermented Cod Liver Oil Butter Blend (2 pack)
Thrive only carries non-perishables, so they won’t be a replacement (or a competitor) to local farmers and farmers markets, but they offer a less expensive and socially conscious alternative to non-perishable products often bought online. Our family is now buying many of our non-perishables and household products from them and supporting our local farmers and economy with our produce and meat purchases.

Free Shipping

Thrive Market also offers free shipping on orders over $49 to anywhere in the continental US. I try to order one big order a month and my shipping has always been free by doing this since I always have a bigger order. This is comparable to Amazon, plus Thrive membership is less expensive than Amazon Prime.

Thrive Gives

One of the things that really attracted me to Thrive Market and motivated me to invest in them was their social mission. For every membership purchased, Thrive gives a free membership to a low-income family to help make real food affordable to everyone.

Thrive is also committed to the environment by using recycled packaging and making sure that all of their own packaging is recyclable as well. They also purchase carbon offsets and are completely carbon neutral.

I’ve met the founders and team at Thrive and they are all very excited about the mission of Thrive and making real food more affordable and available, but they also all live and eat this way too.

Trial Membership

I’m not a fan for signing up for things without trying them first (in fact, I waited until I had a friend’s pass to visit Costco before signing up when we used to live near one) and I’m guessing you aren’t either.

Important!

Thrive Market is a new company with a big mission. Some popular items may be out of stock temporarily while they deal with minor growing pains. If something you are looking for is out of stock, please check back in a day or two and have a little patience!