Leaving Corporate America, The Road Less Traveled

One year ago today, April 19th, I walked out of the doors of my job within Corporate America as an Oracle based technology consultant. I left those doors without a plan, without a new full time job, without a consistent compensation. One thing I did leave those doors with was excitement, confidence and dedication towards my unknown career path going forward. I knew in my heart I had a passion for health and wellness that I would put forth every ounce of energy I had to pursue.

I am not writing this to convince you to quit your corporate job. I’m not here to tell you that everything will be sunshine and rainbows on the other side. That is not the case, and likely will take a lot of hard work to get to that point. I am also not here to say anything in a negative light regarding Corporate America. My time as a consultant was incredible and truly shaped me to have the confidence that I found within myself to go out on my own. My mission here is to share my story hoping that it helps anyone in the same boat in their career.

Why leave?

When I started school at the University of Georgia in 2012, I had my mind set on obtaining a business degree. That’s what everyone seemed to be doing. You get into the school of business, you go off to work full time at a Big Four company, and life is grand… right? That mindset stuck with me throughout my first year at a Big Four firm. I was doing all the “right” things, I felt successful, and I had a comfortable salary.

When you follow along with the status quo, it can catch up to you quickly. I started to become stressed and unhappy, which took the energy out on my relationships. I began to feel like I was a small fish in a large sea, and that was difficult for me to make an impact in my environment. Although all the signs were there, I thought I was on the right path and that I had to stick through it. Because what would others think if I left? Who would I be if I wasn’t the Management Information Systems major working 60 plus hour weeks at a Big Four Firm? Frankly, how would I survive without this salary and pay my bills?

It took a LOT of soul searching, but I realized that my mindset was extremely skewed. What mattered most to me at the end of the day was my happiness and my mental health. The reality is that sometimes happiness is not the easiest path to choose. Often it means letting go of something that may have once served you. It may mean walking away from a path in life that most people are on, and that is OKAY. Your job, your major, your salary — none of these can ever define you.

My plan post quitting

The hardest part was not being able to tell my coworkers exactly where I was going. I had a bunch of part time jobs lined up, but they didn’t need that entire elevator pitch. And honestly, I was hesitant since it surely was not the traditional route that most of my peers take.

The main part time job that was going to be keeping me afloat was working at a Technology Specialist for a local company, and that company happened to be owned by my dad. I kept this a secret for a long time. I am extremely proud of the business my dad and his partner have grown and was excited to be a part of it, but I know the stigma that comes when working for a parent. So, I kept quiet to most, when really, I was gaining valuable experience.

At his company, I continued practicing what I had learned in my major. I knew in my heart that this wasn’t my dream job, but I knew that it would give me the flexibility to explore the health and wellness industry. I would no longer be traveling and working 60 plus hour weeks and would now have the time to follow my passions.

As far the health and wellness side of things goes, I decided to create my blog. I dedicated a lot of my time growing my account and page with this newfound freedom. When I had the chance, I went out and met friends I had connected with through Instagram, attended Natural Products conferences and networked with my favorite health companies. I also got a job at SoulCycle and made an incredible group of friends who I consider family within the fitness industry.

When I started my blog, I started to reach out to local companies to see if they needed any extra assistance. I am so thankful that Georgia Grinders responded, and I was able to meet with the awe-inspiring founder of the local nut butter company. Jaime was one of those people who came into my life for a reason at exactly the right time. We had very similar stories, and she was a complete breath of fresh air. From that day, I knew I had gained an incredible role model and friend who would end up being a big part of my life. I started off working for Georgia Grinders at local farmers markets and events on the weekends. This opportunity led me to meet so many amazing health-minded people within the Atlanta community.

Where I am today

You are now probably thinking… so when did you sleep?! I always prioritize sleep, but I did not have much free time beyond my part time commitments. Although the funny thing was, I was not very stressed. I knew I was chasing my passions, and that one day all this hard work would lead to something bigger.

Today, one year after leaving Corporate America, I am extremely proud to be the full time Digital Media Manager for Georgia Grinders. I wake up each day feeling grateful for all of my hard work that got me to this point. My focus is now on helping grow Georgia Grinders, while growing my personal brand at the same time. I’ve taken a complete 180 turn from my college major and career, and I have not looked back.

What excites me most is knowing that this is just the start of my journey, and there will be so much more to come. I did not decide one night that I wanted to leave Corporate America, it was something that came to fruition over time with a lot of dedication. But if you find yourself in the same boat, there is absolutely no harm in putting yourself out there and beginning to explore other options. I cannot say it enough — your job, your career, your salary, none of these will ever define you. Tune into your needs and blur out any thoughts or judgement from others. It is your life, your happiness, and people will be a lot more understanding than you would expect.

How to tap into industries outside your major

So, what happens when you know you want to make the change? What happens when you want to explore other industries outside of your degree? Where do you go from here? Each situation is different, but this is the general advice that I share with others going through the same thing:

Put yourself out there any chance you get. Do this by stepping into uncomfortable situations, even when it scares you. These situations are the ones that are going to help you grow the most. Ask a lot of questions and learn to be okay with hearing the word no. If something doesn’t work out, it was likely not meant to be. Take that disappointment and channel it into the manifestation of the next best thing.

Talk to experienced people in the industry, make incredible impressions and follow up with your contacts promptly. Reach out to as many people as you can and listen to their stories and expertise. Read articles and do endless amounts of research. Be sure to attend any industry related events. When you are passionate about something, the easiest part is sharing this with others. People can see it in your eyes, hear it in your voice, and feel it shine from your heart.

Take the road less traveled

Making any change does not happen overnight. If you want it badly enough, you surely have what it takes to make it happen. About a couple months into becoming discontent with my career, I traveled to Ojai, California. It was in a gift shop here that I found a key chain that read “Take the road less traveled”. This quote stuck with me (and my keys) and truly changed my life. It was in that moment that I realized I had what it took to be anything but ordinary. I was ready to take the step forward to follow the passions in my heart. So much has changed for me this past year for the better, and I cannot wait to see what the future brings.

If you are in a similar situation and are thinking of making a career change, please reach out! I am always happy to talk more about my experience and share my knowledge. Thank you SO much for taking the time to read this; it truly means the world to me to have you here.

Xo,

Cori

All Things Expo West 2019

Twice a year, the New Hope Network puts on the largest natural foods conference; one is on the east coast (Expo East) and one on the west coast (Expo West). Thousands of companies come together in one convention center and debut what is new and exciting with their brands. It helps connect them to different retailers, vendors, distributors, bloggers and influencers. These Expos really have the power to help bring different brands and companies to the next level. They also serve as a really fun way for bloggers and influencers to network and meet other people in the same industry.

I have been fortunate enough to attend the last three conventions and get a first glimpse of what is coming down the pipeline from some of my favorite natural products companies. It is a blast to meet the faces behind the brands and get to try out their new offerings. There are samples everywhere, thousands of booths, and a whole lot of foodies. This past month, I attended Expo West 2019 in Anaheim, California. I cannot wait to share all of the scoop with you guys!

From a trends perspective, CBD, collagen and turmeric are definitely being used in a wide variety of products in the industry. They all have incredible benefits for you, but it seemed like there was product overload in these areas. There are so many amazing products and companies out there, but I definitely recommend doing your research before purchasing any. Sometimes, it really is easiest to stick with what you know and not over complicate. Simply because I choose to use or purchase something, absolutely does not mean that you need to. With that being said, here are some of my top favorite finds at Expo this year!

Kite Hill

Kite Hill Foods is one of my favorite brands that carries dairy-free cheese alternatives. My long time favorite has been the chive flavored almond milk cream cheese. They launched a few new exciting products this year: everything bagel almond milk cream cheese, strawberry flavored almond milk cream cheese, and dairy-free, ricotta filled tortellini! The tortellini was incredible and they had it prepared in an olive oil and garlic based sauce with peas. I definitely plan on remaking this soon, as I have already spotted the tortellini in my local Whole Foods! If you are gluten-free, unfortunately, the tortellini is not gluten free.

Siete Family Foods

Siete Foods has one of the most friendly and fun brands out there. I always love running into the team at different shows and events. This year, they debuted their new grain free taco shells and sprouted bean dip! If you are not familiar with the brand, they offer great grain-free alternatives for Mexican-inspired cooking. From their grain free tortillas, to their incredible vegetable based hot sauce line, they really have it all. They keep continue to come out with exciting new products and I cannot wait for more!

Chosen Foods

Chosen Foods is one of my long time favorite companies that sells healthy cooking oils. I always use their avocado oil and avocado oil sprays to cook because they are high quality and have a higher smoke point than most other oils. They recently launched their line of 9 flavored avocado oil sprays! My favorite flavor is definitely the garlic, and they have other fun ones like dill and citrus pepper. Chosen Foods is also coming out with a guacamole and an avocado spread which I am super excited about.

Wildbrine

Wildbrine has been known in the natural products industry for their kraut and fermented products. They stole the show this year with their new plant based bries and butter. The brie was extremely authentic to traditional brie in regards to the rind. It tasted great and will come in three flavors: classic, shiitake and beet. Their plant based butter was also amazing; I’m super excited that there is now another clean, vegan butter out there. All of their new products that they debuted are also cultured. This may have been one of my favorite samplings at the show!

Simple Mills

Simple Mills has incredible grain free baking mixes, cookies, crackers, etc. and this year they added an incredible brownie mix to their line! It tastes super fudgy and very similar to a regular brownie. I’m looking forward to enjoying a batch soon with some dairy free ice cream!

New Barn Organics

New Barn is an awesome brand that sells a variety of almond milks and almond milk based ice creams. This year at the show, they sampled their new almond based dips with great ingredients and even better flavors! My favorite was definitely the habanero. They would be a great option for those who do not eat chickpeas as a hummus replacement. I eat chickpeas, and plan to be buying lots of these dips!

Georgia Grinders

Near, dear, and extremely close to my heart, Georgia Grinders came out with Hazelnut butter that is just plain perfect. The only ingredients are slow roasted hazelnuts and sea salt; clean and simple – just how I like it. I actually attended Expo West with Georgia Grinders as the new Full Time Digital Media Manager! This hasn’t quite been discussed on my page yet, so if you’re reading this, you’re the first to know! I’m beyond excited for this new leap of faith in my career and am thrilled to work alongside a brand that values a commitment to quality and simplicity as much as I do.

Sir Kensington’s

Sir Kensington’s has a fabulous line of condiments and dressings that they recently expanded to include flavored balsamic vinegars! I was able to try them out at the show on top of some vegetables and they were great. Vegetables are definitely a rare find at the show so I totally appreciated these samples. My favorite one was the Dijon Balsamic, but they all have really unique and delicious flavors.

Miyoko’s

Miyoko’s is another one of my favorite dairy free cheese and butter companies. I use their mozzarella frequently as it definitely melts a lot easier than other vegan cheeses I have tried. The product pictured above was my new favorite. It is the Biergarten Garlic Chive cheese and it is absolutely to die for, especially on pretzels. They also debuted their new line of cheeses which are completely nut free and made with a base of sweet potatoes. Miyoko’s did not have any official packaging out yet, but I am excited to see them on shelves soon! The nut-free cheeses tasted incredible and I assume they will melt just as easily as their other offerings.

Chameleon Cold Brew

Oat milk in my lattes has to be one of my favorite morning treats ever. Chameleon Cold Brew is making that a lot easier by combining their organic cold brew with organic oat milk in the bottles pictured above. They will come in a couple flavors and they all taste great!

Birch Benders

My love for Birch Benders pancake mix runs deep, and I was so excited that they expanded their line to include syrups! Their syrups are sweetened with monk fruit and have added MCTs in them. Birch Benders also launched a plant based and a Keto pancake mix. Both were delicious and will have a frozen boxed waffle to accompany them. My favorite mix is still the Paleo pancake mix and the Paleo frozen waffles, but I think it is super awesome that they are expanding to meet the needs of so many consumers. Yay!

Hu Kitchen

Hu Kitchen is coming out with Paleo chocolate chips! They are called Gems and are absolutely perfect for all of your Paleo baking needs. I’m really pumped about this as I will no longer have to chop their bars up for baking. As far as the bars go, they launched a delicious Earl Grey Cashew Butter Chocolate bar. They were sampling their Orange Dream Vanilla Cashew Butter and Cashew Butter and Raspberry Jelly bars which launched last fall at Expo East. Hu Kitchen is definitely one of my favorite Paleo chocolate companies out there. Make sure check out their storefront in New York City if you ever have the chance. Rumor has it there may be a new location soon… stay tuned!

PS. They are also launching grain free crackers! Be on the lookout on their Instagram page and website.

Taste Republic

Taste Republic has an amazing line of fresh, gluten-free pastas. You can find their pastas in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I get mine at my local Whole Foods and Sprouts. Some of their pastas are paleo/grain-free, and they just added cauliflower linguine to the line. It is just as delicious as their other pastas and I’m thrilled about this awesome grain-free pasta option! All of their pastas only take a few minutes to cook which is when you really know that they are fresh. The pastas are also available on their website, but the cauliflower linguine is currently sold out.

Banza

Banza was sampling their delicious new chickpea rice. I’ve posted about it a lot on my feed and in my stories, but it is always great to see the friendly faces behind this brand. They were sampling a fried rice recipe with their rice that I will definitely be recreating soon!

Mother Raw

Another one of my favorite brands that I found at Expo was Mother Raw. They offer a line of extremely clean dressings and dips. All of their products are made with a base of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Mother Raw sells an awesome plant based, nut-free queso, too! I loved all of the dressings, but the Caesar and the Maple Fig were two of my top choices. Check out this brand for simple, good for you products that can really help elevate your meals.

Eating Evolved


The delicious Paleo chocolate brand, Eating Evolved, is also coming out with Paleo baking chips! One of my favorite products of their’s is their cashew milk chocolate bar, so I am excited that they are launching cashew milk chocolate chips as well. Eating Evolved is expanding their line of Paleo coconut butter cups to include nut butter cups. The inside of these new cups are filled with either almond or cashew butter and are absolutely delicious. All of the ingredients for their new cups are just as clean as the one’s found in their other products!

Hilary’s Eat Well

My favorite veggie burger company, Hilary’s, came out with a new grain-free super cauliflower burger. It is definitely my new favorite item of their’s. The new burgers really remind me of a potato pancake and are super comforting. I can’t wait for these to hit the shelves soon.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

My absolute favorite ice cream company, Jeni’s Ice Cream, launched three new amazing dairy free flavors! The came out with Roasted Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jelly (my favorite), Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, and Texas Sheet Cake. They are all so amazing and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they turned out! If you live near a Jeni’s Ice Cream Shop, the new dairy free flavors are available there now.

Bonafide Provisions

Bonafide Provisions came out with incredible Keto broths, and the one with lemon, turmeric, coconut and MCT oils was to die for. I think I went by their booth everyday to snag a cup. I’ve been a longtime fan of their clean, nourishing broths and this new Keto focused launch surely did not disappoint. Bonafide also did a beautiful packaging re-brand which will be in stores soon!

Soozy’s Grain Free

Soozy’s has incredible, grain-free muffins that can be found in the freezer section of your grocery store. I get mine at my local Kroger, and they can be found at any of the Kroger brand stores. They came out with grain-free DONUTS this year which tasted just as amazing as their muffins.

Naturally Clean Eats

When I make a bar recommendation, you know it it means that I really love them because I am not the biggest bar girl. I absolutely loved the bars from Naturally Clean Eats; they are clean, vegan, gluten-free, and most importantly they do not require refrigeration. The owner, Jessica, could not be sweeter which is always a plus! She sells delicious flavors like Spiced Chocolate Chip Cookie dough and just recently came out with a new Oatmeal Raisin bar which launches in May. Her packaging is stunning and I can’t wait to bring these with me on the go.

Vital Farms

The Vital Farms brand is truly an awesome one to me as they are super transparent with their practices, their mission, etc. I am pumped that they are launching a Ghee butter as it is something that I highly enjoy cooking with. The new ghees are definitely going to be as stellar as the rest of their line!

Culina Yogurt

Another one of my favorite Expo finds was the dairy free yogurt from Culina Yogurt. Their delicious plant based yogurt is sold in mini plant pots which is super environmentally friendly and could not be cuter. It is hard to come across a creamy, delicious plant based yogurt and Culina completely nailed it. Culina’s flavors are: Plain and Simple, Bourbon Vanilla, Strawberry Rose, and Blueberry Lavender. They are super unique and I’m so excited that I will be able to purchase these in Sprouts soon!

Fourth and Heart

The current ghee brand that I use and love, Fourth and Heart, launched a new turmeric ghee and it is delicious. They also launched ghee-based protein bars which were great. I had never tried their chocolate ghees before, but I will now definitely be purchasing them going forward. Yum!

Beanfield’s

Beanfields carries a line of delicious bean-based chips with awesome flavors. I love the texture of their chips and they are definitely quite addicting. On top of their already amazing line, they debuted their new flavors at the show that are made with a base of white beans. The chips are a little lighter and come in Salt and Vinegar, Spicy Queso, Himalayan Pink Salt, Jalapeno Lime and Cheddar.

I hope you enjoyed! If you have any specific questions about any of the products or companies listed, please do not hesitate to reach out!

xo,

Cori

18 Gift Ideas to Get You Through the 2018 Holiday Season

Holiday season is among us!  Its the most wonderful time of the year and spreading joy is one of the best parts of it all. If you’re similar to me, you absolutely love gifting things to people – but often times you aren’t sure what to get them. I created this gift guide to be a resource for you this holiday season on what to gift; whether it be your significant other, your neighbor, your boss, and so on. You’ll see items included from a variety of price ranges to hopefully include something that can help make your life a little easier this holiday season. Happy shopping!

1. Almond Cow – The Plant Based Milk Maker ($180)

Making homemade nut milks is a huge way to save money over time and tastes SO much more fresh. You don’t have to worry about any additives with the Almond Cow – you have complete control of what goes into your milk. The process takes about 30 seconds and requires no straining! This machine is typically $195, but by using the code ‘MATCHAANDMARGS‘ you can get $15 off plus free US + Canadian shipping (a total value of $30). You can use this link to get the discount as well. Watch this video to see how easy the process is.

My homemade vanilla matcha collagen cashew milk

If you’re shopping for the Almond Cow on Cyber Monday, they are $50 off today – the highest sale they have ever had! Click here to activate.

2. Healthy Human ($20-$36)

Healthy Human Life is one of my favorite brands of insulated water bottles. Their products keep your liquids super cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. Beyond helping make taking your drinks on the go easier, they offer a wide variety of super cute patterns. They also eliminate the use of plastic water bottles! I have a curved bottle with an added sports cap that I have been using to take with me to work out. I definitely recommend the sports cap to purchase alongside the bottle! You can use the code CORIFI10 for 10% off their website or products on Amazon.

If you are shopping for Healthy Human bottles on Cyber Monday, they are 30% off + free shipping!  Use code ‘CYBERMONDAY30’.

3. MZ Wallace Bag ($215-$245)

This bag is my favorite bag for daily use – it holds just about everything I need. It can serve as a gym bag, a work bag, etc. and is extremely durable. For an everyday bag, I think the prices for them are fairly reasonable. I’ve had mine for 6 months and it is still in incredible condition. I have the Medium Metro Tote in black shown below, but would also recommend their backpacks.

4. Personalized gift basket (price will vary)

One of my favorite things to gift to local friends and family are personalized gift baskets with some of my favorite items. You can definitely send these to people in the mail, but you don’t have as much control as how the basket will look, which is the fun part to me. Some items I like to include in mine are Georgia Grinders nut butter (Pecan butter and Maple Caramel Almond butter are fun seasonal flavors), Beeseasonal Honey, fancy olives and oils, Simple Mills baking mixes, and so much more!

5. Ceramics (Soft Earth Ceramics and Cord x Clay – prices will vary)

A question I get asked frequently is where I get my ceramics from. I absolutely love treating myself to ceramics from time to time – I really appreciate the earthy vibes they bring. Two of my favorite brands to buy from are Soft Earth Ceramics and Cord x Clay. Cord x Clay also has adorable hand woven coasters that would make a great gift. I’ve included links to both of their Etsy shops below!

Cord x Clay hand woven coasters

Click here to shop the Etsy shop by Soft Earth Ceramics
Click here to shop the Etsy shop by cord x clay

6. Avocado Green Mattress Organic Pillows ($79-99)

In my opinion, sleep is one of the most common pillars of health. It is something that I prioritize on the daily to ensure that I can be my most productive, happy self. Avocado Green Mattress’s organic pillows are extremely comfortable and have a fresh, medium plush feel. They are handmade and 100% worth the investment for a better nights sleep. Since I got these pillows for my bed, my sleep has improved drastically and I really don’t plan on ever going back. These pillows would be the perfect gift for just about anybody. Pro tip: get two for your partner so you can reap in the benefits as well 🙂 Happy snoozin’!

7. California Home Goods ($15-$19)

I recently discovered this company on Amazon and they seriously have the cutest kitchen gadgets and home goods ever! They sell these adorable plant holders that would make a great gift for any of your beloved plant parents! The products are also extremely affordable which is always a plus.

2 Small Decorative Geometric Hanging Planters Pot for Indoor Wall Decor
Macrame Shelf Planter Hanger for Indoor Plants with Wooden Shelf
4-Tier Hanging Plant Holder

8. Ugg Slippers ($85-$120)

The perfect cozy gift for guys and girls – these are one of my favorite warm pieces to wear when its cold! UGG definitely sells the most comfortable slippers that anyone in your life will be sure to love.

If you are shopping for True Grits on Cyber Monday, there are a couple on sale at Nordstrom.

9. Thrive Market Membership ($60)

If you have followed me for some time, you know my obsession with Thrive Market is real. It’s an online food store which sells healthier products at wholesale prices. It is my favorite place to stock up on all the pantry staples, and it has saved me over $1,000 so far. A one year membership to Thrive would be a great gift for someone in your life who appreciates a good discount on high quality products. If you want to see some of the products that they offer, you can check out my guide to Thrive Market. You can access my page through Thrive Market’s website which includes some of my top favorite products as well.

10. Outdoor Voices discounted sets ($95) or hats ($35)

This game-changing athletic wear brand has been taking over and it is for a good reason. I love their apparel – specifically all of the Tech Sweat line. Some of their stuff can add up like most other brands out there, but they have an option on the top of their website where you can pick out a set from the items they provide and customize your own set for $95. This is a great way to save a little money but gift someone an entire work out outfit! Click here to see what sets they have available. They also sell a really cute hat that says “Doing Things”, which would be a super fun present as well for a cheaper price of $35.

If you are shopping for Outdoor Voices on Cyber Monday, they are doing 40% off select items AND an extra 20% off sitewide! 

11. Yoga mat or classes

Gifting a yoga mat can be fun to gift to someone you love to practice with – I gifted one to my mom last year and now it always makes me smile when we go together! My favorite mat is the Reversible 5mm mat from Lululemon; personally I think the 3mm is too thin. I’ve also heard amazing things about the Manduka brand. Another great yoga-themed gift is private classes or sessions with a favorite yoga teacher. This is also a great idea for someone in your life who wants to start practicing yoga but may feel too timid in a public setting. You could do a solo or couples session!

12. Adidas Ultra Boosts ($180-$220)

These are my favorite sneakers of all time and truly make you feel like you are walking on a cloud. I don’t think I will be switching to a new type of sneaker anytime soon. These are a perfect gift for men and women alike. They come in a variety of colors and sizes too!

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If you are shopping for Adidas on Cyber Monday, their entire website is 30% off! 

13. AWAY Gift Sets ($35-95)

These gift sets from AWAY were just way too cute not to include! The well known, fashionable suitcases and travel bags from AWAY just got really mini as they launched these gift sets for the holidays. They have a few different options for these cosmetic cases including a beauty set (pictured below; includes a jade roller). You can also just purchase the travel case and include different cosmetics in your gift!

away

14. 2019 Planner – Start Planner ($60)

Planners are super cute and useful gifts to give around the holiday season as we get ready for the new year! The planners by Start Planner are a game changer – they offer daily and weekly planners with a variety of information to track. From your budget, to your hourly to do list, to your food planning, and beyond – the Start Planners can really help you stay on track and organized in fashion. I’ve been using the daily one and have been loving how accountable its held me to complete a variety of different things each day.

Shop Start Planners here; if you are shopping on Cyber Monday, you can get the amazing founder, Kristy Dickerson’s, book on balance for free with your purchase! 

15. Cocokind Gift Sets ($28-$60)

Superfoods meet skincare with Cocokind’s amazing line of natural products. From face masks, to natural highlighters made with antioxidants and mushrooms – you’ll be sure to find something of their products that the skin will love. They offer gift sets around the holidays which would make for a super cute present. One of my favorite product of theirs is the Matcha face stick, it really helps protect your eyes from forming bags, especially when travelling.

16. Blue light filtering glasses – Pixel Eyewear ($85-$95)

We’ve all been told not to use screens and phones before bedtime because of the harmful blue light, but this is a hard habit to kick. Blue light filtering glasses have been all the rage as of recently for a great reason. I’ve been using mine for about a month now and can definitely tell that there has been a significant decrease in my headaches, etc. Pixel Eyewear sells a really cute line that won’t break the bank either!

If you are shopping for Pixel Eyewear blue light filtering glasses on Cyber Monday, you can get 20% off your purchase! 

17. An experience (local concert, cooking class – price will vary)

If I could gift an experience for every present, I totally would! There’s nothing better than getting to experience something special with your loved ones as a gift – especially around the holidays. I always look for local concerts, cooking classes (Sur La Table is great and has locations for classes all over the country), seasonal events, plays, etc.

If you’re local to Atlanta, Scoutmob/Hand Picked is an amazing website and app that provides different local experiences as well from wine tastings to multi-course dinners with a pre-fixed price. The Cooking School at Irwin Street has amazing classes that I love to attend with my mom.

18. Madewell – candles + jewelry (prices will vary)

When in doubt, I love to gift candles from Madewell! They are really cute and have incredible scents. They also have a great line of jewelry where I get most of my pieces from at affordable prices. These star and moon studs are my favorite!

If you are shopping at Madewell on Cyber Monday, their site is doing 25% off almost all items!

Hope you enjoyed – happy happy holidays!!

xo,

Cori

All About Thrive Market + Product Guide

What is Thrive Market?

… so happy you asked! Thrive Market is an online grocery store offering a variety of healthy products from snacks, baking supplies, supplements to home and beauty supplies, all at wholesale prices. Think Whole Foods meets Costco – yet you don’t even have to go to the store and deal with the crowds. Sick of spending endless amounts of money on healthy products? Yeah, me too.

Similar to Costco and other wholesale memberships, you pay a $60 yearly membership fee in order to have access the online store. You are also eligible to start a 30 day trial with Thrive to see if you like it before committing. The company already saves you hundreds each year. In my first year with Thrive Market, I saved over $1000. I will also include some codes you can use to help you save even more:

Thrive Discount Links:

Note: I will update my codes as I get new ones and the guide as new products come to Thrive, which is pretty often! I have a story highlight on Thrive Market where you can find any new favorite recommendations and information.

Free Gifts & Promotions:

Almost every day you can count on Thrive Market to offer a free gift or promotion. For example, one day they had a free Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee pack and then had an additional 15% off the line! I’ve gotten so many free gifts from my orders that are always so awesome. (i.e. coconut oil, almond butter, Simple Mills products, Safe Catch tuna, etc.) Pro tip: do your orders on days that they offer a promotion! Being that they have them so frequently, this isn’t hard to do and you will love being able to try old and new products for free.

Questions?!

Happy to help. DM me (@matcha_and_margs) or email me at matchaandmargs@gmail.com. This post is not sponsored. I’m super passionate about finding ways to make healthy food more accessible and affordable to people and would love to help you learn more about one of my favorite ways to do just that! 

Enjoy!

Product Recommendations:

    • Siete Foods: lime, plain and nacho chips
      • Siete chips are a nutritious, grain-free tortillas chips that are great to dip in guacamole, to make nachos with, to crumble on chilis and soups – the list could go on.
      • Favorite flavors are the lime and the nacho chips.
    • Hu Chocolate: Paleo chocolate
      • Delicious, creamy chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar that you can use for baking, snacking, etc.
      • All flavors are amazing; I love the Cashew Butter & Pure Vanilla Bean Chocolate Bar and the Salty Chocolate Bar.
    • Lesser Evil: Paleo puffs and popcorn
      • Their new paleo puffs are my absolute favorite! I also love their super clean popcorn. One of my favorite snack brands in general.
      • Favorite paleo puff is the “No Cheese” Cheesiness and favorite popcorn is the organic Himalayan pink salt popcorn
    • Chomps: turkey and beef jerky sticks (10 packs)
      • Super clean jerky sticks – the turkey is free range and the beef is grass fed. I love having these on hand as a high protein snack.
    • Cybele’s Free to Eat: veggie based rotini pasta
      • Another one of my favorite pasta alternatives with super clean and minimal ingredients. My favorites are the white rotini (made with green lentil, cauliflower, and parsnip only) and the green rotini (made with green lentil, kale, spinach and broccoli).
    • Primal Palate: organic spices
      • All of their spices are amazing, but my top three are the Meat and Potatoes seasoning, Adobo seasoning and the New Bae seasoning (a healthier, organic version of Old Bay).
    • Cocokind: organic skincare line
      • A natural, all organic skincare line that is centered around using different superfoods in their products. Think: a matcha stick to apply under your eyes to reduce bagginess and a turmeric spot treatment stick.
      • Favorites are the two sticks listed above and the chlorophyll mask.
    • Barnana: banana based snacks
      • They are on a mission to end food waste; they up-cycle any organic bananas on their farm that would otherwise go to waste.
      • I love their ridged plantain chips (salt and vinegar, Himalayan pink salt or Acapulco lime) and the organic peanut butter chewy banana bites.
    • Beekeeper’s Naturals: high quality honey
      • I love this brand and their super innovative honey products. They also use sustainable beekeeping practices, which is super important to me.
      • I love the superfood honey with cacao, the bee pollen, the B.Chill hemp raw honey (infused with CBD) and their regular raw wildflower honey.
    • Mina: Moroccan sauce company
      • I love using their shakshuka sauce to make shakshuka – it is super clean and has amazing flavors.
    • Smartsweets: low sugar, high fiber gummy candies
      • These healthy gummies are an awesome option for your sweet tooth! I really love all of the flavors and haven’t found a product quite like this one. So good!
    • Om Mushrooms: superfood mushroom powders
      • High quality, organic and gluten free mushroom powder varieties that are highly functional
      • Sneak these into lots of my recipes for added health benefits
      • Love using Lions Mane (helps with focus), Cordyceps (help with energy levels), Reishi (helps you feel more calm), and Chaga (great for your immune system)
    • The Real Coconut: coconut flour chips
      • These chips are awesome and a little thicker than Siete chips.
      • My favorite flavors are the salt and vinegar and the Himalayan pink salt.
    • Stasher: reusable silicone bags
      • Love these dishwasher-friendly, reusable bags for on the go meals and food preservation in the home
    • The New Primal: Paleo marinades and cooking sauces
      • They have great clean sauces and marinades free of refined sugars that I love to cook with. They are super flavorful and help make prep a little bit easier!
      • The sauces and marinades are all great, but I think my favorite is the Mustard BBQ one – it’s so unique.
    • Sir Kensington: high quality condiment brand
      • Their mustards (spicy brown + dijon) are all a MUST.
      • I also love using their dairy free buffalo ranch dressing. Especially dipped with pizza!
    • Yellowbird: clean hot sauces
      • They are all super tasty, but the Habanero one is my favorite. It is made with organic carrots, onions, garlic, tangerine juice concentrate, salt, lime juice, habanero peppers, distilled vinegar and a small touch of organic cane sugar.
    • Raos: marinara sauces
      • Amazing, high quality marinara sauce. One of the only brands of sauce I buy – its totally worth it. If you like a little heat, I definitely recommend the Arrabbiata sauce.
    • Sejoyia: coconut macaroons and cookies (Coco-Thins)
      • Their products are super clean and great to snack on. They have a lot of flavor varieties as well.
      • I love the meaning behind their brand – the name Sejoyia means “See Joy in All”. How cute?!
      • My favorite product of theirs are the vanilla Coco-Thins! These cookies are only made of organic coconut, cashews, organic coconut sugar, cassava flour, sea salt, natural vanilla flavor, and organic natural almond flavor.
    • Jackson’s Honest: sweet potato chips, purple heirloom chips, grain free puffs, etc.
      • The sweet potato chips are similar to Terra chips but without the additives. They are the perfect alternative to eat if you don’t have time to meal prep sweet potatoes – the only ingredients are sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and salt.
      • They now have grain free puffs as well! I like the plain sweet potato ones.
    • Plant Snacks: original yuca root chips, vegan cheddar and vegan beet and goat cheese varieties
      • Really good paired with healthy dips and the new vegan cheese flavors are awesome! They taste like real cheese and this is the first product I have ever tried with vegan goat cheese – so good.
    • Purely Elizabeth: Reishi powered grain free granola bars, vibrant oats, and granola
      • All of their products have clean ingredients, taste delicious, and are sweetened with low glycemic coconut sugar. The grain-free granola bars are powered by Reishi, an adaptogenic superfood whose benefits include aiding the body’s response to stress and supporting healthy immune function.
      • Favorites are the original granola and the chocolate grain-free granola bars.
    • Eating Evolved: Paleo chocolate
        • Delicious, healthy chocolate sweetened with coconut sugar that you can use for baking, snacking, etc. 
        • Cashew milk chocolate varieties taste very similar to milk chocolate; they are so creamy and melt easily.
      • Buy their Midnight cacao bar if avoiding sugar and dip in unsweetened almond butter to add flavor and offset the bitterness of cacao.
      • All flavors are good; love the Almond Sea Salt Bar, the Caramel Sea Salt Coconut Butter Cups, and the Cashew Milk Chocolate varieties.
    • Simple Mills: almond flour crackers, pizza dough, bread and pancake mix, paleo cookies and baking mixes
      • Love all of their products; Sun-dried Tomato and Basil is my favorite cracker flavor and pecan is my favorite cookie flavor. Their pizza crust also turns out incredible.
      • I love using this tip from one of my friends, Cory (@tinycleankitchen), to buy two of the almond flour bread mixes and bake together in a bread pan according to the package directions to make a loaf of paleo bread for the week.
    • Banza: chickpea pasta
      • One of my favorite healthy, plant based, versions of pasta. Tastes very similar to regular pasta and the main ingredient is chickpeas.
      • Comes in a lot of fun shapes, I love the wheels and Cavatappi!
    • Lily’s: stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips
      • Use in baking recipes for a low sugar chocolate alternative if you are not sensitive to stevia.
  • SeaSnax: seaweed based snacks
    • Addicting snack if you like the taste of seaweed
    • Favorites are lime flavored seaweed snacks and all of the Chomperz
  • Safe Catch: tuna (plain and flavored varieties) and salmon
    • One of the only canned fish brands I will eat; each can is tested for mercury levels and it is super safe to eat. You can truly taste the Safe Catch difference.
  • Jilz Crackers: Paleo/gluten free crackers
      • Love pairing them with Safe Catch tuna and sauerkraut or on salads to add carbs.
    • The on the go packets are great to bring with you for a quick, nourishing snack.
  • Primal Kitchen Foods: avocado oil, dressings, mayonnaise, new condiments (ketchup and mustard)
      • One of the only pre-made dressings I eat with super clean ingredients. All of them are avocado oil based and taste great. The honey mustard dressing is my favorite.
    • I’m not a big mayonnaise fan, but this brand is one I can stomach! Has minimal, good for you ingredients. I love to mix it with Safe Catch Tuna and various seasonings.
    • The new condiments are truly amazing – this is the first unsweetened ketchup recipe I have really loved. I always have some on hand.
  • Birch Benders: Paleo pancake and waffle mix
    • Super versatile mix and has a great taste
    • The mix is low in sugar and sweetened with monk fruit
    • Put a little less water than the bag calls for to make fluffier pancakes
  • Bob’s Red Mill: flours, seeds, baking mixes, etc.
    • All of Bob’s products are truly amazing and very high quality. I use the almond flour the most frequently.
    • Love using them for all of my baking, etc.
  • One Degree Organic Foods: sprouted brown rice cereal
    • Great vegan and sprouted cereal sweetened with coconut sugar
    • Love making vegan crunch bars or topping my smoothies with this cereal
    • Their chocolate flavor is my favorite one to eat plain and I like to bake with the plain flavor.
  • Chosen Foods: avocado oil spray
    • Awesome avocado oil cooking spray that I use for almost all cooking
    • Does not contain additives similar to other kinds of spray oils
  • Thrive Market // Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Flour:
    • Great vegan flour substitute with protein
    • Sprouted variety so it is better for your digestion
    • Make my favorite cookie recipe by Ambitious Kitchen here with Eating Evolved cashew milk chocolate chunks 🙂
  • Amazing Grass: green super-food powder
    • Love starting my day with a glass of coconut water, a scoop of this powder, and lemon juice. The combination instantly makes me feel great, especially when I feel I may have something coming on.
  • Artisana Organics: coconut butter
    • Love their coconut butter, I use it in a lot of recipes.
    • Their coconut cacao bliss is an awesome treat too.

Additional Brands Thrive carries:

    • Acure (I use their shampoo and conditioner)
    • Four Sigmatic
    • Charlotte’s Web (CBD products)
    • Dr. Bronner’s
    • Gaia Herbs (I take the ashwagandha pills every day)
    • Milkadamia (macadamia nut milk)
    • Larabar
    • Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour
    • Enjoy Life
    • Lakanto Monkfruit Sweetener (zero glycemic index) 
    • Living Intentions (love their probiotic salsa verde popcorn)
    • Mary’s Crackers
    • Paleonola
  • Thrive Brand
      • Bulk nuts
      • Nut butters
      • Flours
      • Baking powders 
      • Non-toxic cleaning products (use almost all of these around my house)
      • Turkey and beef jerky (sweetened with coconut sugar)
    • Nut milks (love the oat milk)
    • Paleo banana snack mixes… and SO many more!

If you have any further questions, don’t be shy! I’d love to help you figure out if a membership would be a good fit for you. Happy shopping!