FOOD

How Thrive Gives Helps a Military Mama Make Healthy Choices for Her Family

December 9th, 2019

The Thrive Gives program is one of the initiatives we’re most proud of at Thrive Market because it helps us deliver on our mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for every American family. New to Thrive Gives? It’s simple: For every paid member who joins Thrive Market, we provide a free membership to someone in need—primarily teachers, students, low-income families, veterans, and first responders around the country.

Today we’re introducing you to Dannielle, a former culinary and pastry chef who’s used to moving from place to place as a military wife. Regardless of the city her family calls home, Dannielle doesn’t want to compromise on nutrition. Thrive Market makes it easy for her to stock up on all of her family’s favorites no matter where she is.

1. What’s the biggest impact Thrive Market has had on you and your family?

Eating well as a family is a top priority, so Thrive Gives has made it possible for us to be pickier about our food while still staying within our budget. We live on a single, military income, and Thrive Market allows us to save thousands of dollars in groceries. I also love that Thrive Market is always accessible whenever we have to move for my husband’s job.

When the government shutdown happened in early 2019, my husband was working without pay and Thrive Market reached out to the community and offered grocery credits to affected families—it was incredible.

“Eating well as a family is a top priority, so Thrive Gives has made it possible for us to be pickier about our food while still staying within our budget.”

2. Tell us what inspired or motivated you to share your experience.

I’ve always felt a desire to pay this membership forward or show my gratitude in some way—not just for our personal membership—but also for everything Thrive Market is doing as a company. I also wanted to share our story because I love being able to connect and relate to others when reading their stories, so I’m hoping to do the same for someone else.

Thrive Gives

3. What’s the most important thing you hope people will take away from your story?

I’m sure most people know that service members and their families are under unique strains. We’re a single-income family, at least while our children are young, so we need help accessing quality and organic food. We’re so grateful Thrive Market has been there for us. Pretty soon we’ll be able to become paying members. It takes a village!

“It’s easy to hit the donate button at checkout and never know the actual lives you’re helping—this gives them a chance to see it in action!”

I hope existing members will see how helpful and instrumental having this membership has been, and know they’re part of making that happen for everyone who uses a Thrive Gives membership. It’s easy to hit the donate button at checkout and never connect with the people you’re helping—this gives them a chance to see it in action!

4. If you weren’t ordering from Thrive Market, what would your process of getting healthy food look like?

Whenever we move, I locate the nearest natural food stores and wholesale clubs, and plan out my shopping trips. With our membership, I can order nearly all of my non-perishables and toiletries, which is a game-changer. Without Thrive Market, our budget wouldn’t stretch as far, and I’d have to shop at these stores weekly.

5. What makes up a typical Thrive Market order?

As a former culinary and pastry chef with a passion for nutrition, I’ve often played around with alternative ingredients, and I buy all of my flours from Thrive Market. I also stock up on rice, pasta, olives, nuts, dried fruit, tea, seaweed, diapers, wipes, and mushroom powder. Honestly, the list goes on! I shop the Thrive Market Goods brand as much as possible, and love to see how each product matches up with my values.

Thrive Gives

6. What happens when a box arrives at your doorstep?

My kids usually yell, “Grocery boxes are here!” This weird sense of relief washes over me, knowing I have everything I need in those boxes. The kids freak out and want to bring the box inside so they can unwrap, open, and help put everything away. Then the kids promptly use said boxes for whatever craft or activity they have deemed necessary that day—usually a vehicle of some sort, or a craft box to color and decorate.

7. Describe a typical day of how your family eats or prepares meals.

At home, we typically stay gluten-free and stick to eating mostly veggies, fruit, and protein, with some sprouted grains and soaked legumes. Breakfast for the kiddos is usually yogurt, berries and granola, sprouted oatmeal, smoothies, or scrambled eggs. Lunch is often a smorgasboard with options like veggies, hummus, crackers, kale chips, turkey and lettuce wraps, or almond butter and fruit spread on rice cakes. Dinner is usually veggies, a starch, and protein.

8. What’s one healthy living tip you’ve come to swear by, or one that has changed your habits or outlook for the better?

Moderation. We’ve adopted the “80/20 rule,” which allows us to eat healthy most of the time, but still have treats occasionally. We’re very lucky not to have any serious food allergies or medical conditions, so we have food freedom when we want it. Sometimes we take breaks from food groups as a family, and other times, we enjoy ourselves, and appreciate the simple pleasures in life.

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This article is related to: Thrive Gives

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Nicole GulottaNicole Gulotta is a writer, author, and tea enthusiast.

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