It’s National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

TRC GF Choco Chip Cookies
Photo credit: Antonina Lackey

These beauties are a preview from our upcoming cookbook. They are gluten-free, dairy-free, made without refined sugar, 100% plant-based, and 100% delicious!


Thank you for the time we spend together!

Gina and Antonina

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Here’s One of the Ways We Beat Our Sugar Cravings

We ate blueberry muffins, peanut butter cookies, coconut cream pie, pecan pies, and more; all without refined sugar and totally satisfying.

Maybe you’ve heard of Larabar? They’ve been around for a long time, getting it just right.

You know how we love to pass on a good tip for living a healthy, balanced life.  Today we have twelve.

We added Reiki to the bars before tasting. We know that made them even better!


Here are Antonina’s Larabar rankings:

Call me cheesy, but I feel like Larabars need commercials with us, the exhausted humans, wondering: what would be a quick, healthy snack? Enter the magical Larabar! There are Larabar commercials. I’ve seen them – they’re cute!

I grab Larabars (I keep them in the snack section of my pantry) for snack and for breakfast. I’ve tried an array of Larabars. Ones with added sugar, but most of them are added sugar-free. For this review we focused only on the ones without refined sugar.

Right on the package these gems say they are non-GMO, gluten free, vegan (big plus), dairy free, and soy free. That opens a pretty big market nowadays with special diets.

You can find them through our Amazon affiliate links here for you convenience (if one was available), or at a lot of chain stores like Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Kroger, Target, and even Walmart. I’ve been lucky to even find some boxes of them at the 99 Cent Only stores. GASP!

Here are my top 12 Larabars!

12. Blueberry Muffin
-Just 5 Ingredients: Cashews, Dates, Apples, Blueberries, and Vanilla Extract
This did not taste like a muffin AT ALL to me. My daughter seems to enjoy them very well.

11. Carrot Cake
-Just 9 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Raisins, Pineapple, Unsweetened Coconut, Carrots, Cinnamon, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
This does taste like a carrot cake indeed.

10. Key Lime Pie
-Just 6 Ingredients: Dates, Cashews, Almonds, Unsweetened coconut, Lime Juice Concentrate, and Dried Lime Juice Concentrate.
I used to be a big fan of key lime pies, and this Larabar doesn’t exactly deliver on the flavor. If you like things that do taste like lime, I would still highly recommend this one. Green dye free besides the packaging.

9. Pecan Pie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Pecans, and Almonds
When I was a vegetarian I really liked those Two-Bite Brownie brand pecan pies. It took a couple more bites for me but the pie was decadent. This Larabar does not let you down. It is pleasantly moist and chewy. I’m not going to entirely say gooey but it is on its way there.

8. Chocolate Coconut Chew
-Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Walnuts, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened Coconut. I would like to note that the cocoa is Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA.
I am a HUGE fan of anything chocolate coconut. Anything Almond Joy please. Since I have kicked added sugar and kissed it goodbye I do not get the pleasure of indulging in anything chocolate coconut as often. Until the chocolate coconut chew came into my life. It sometimes has full almonds to munch on in there (yay good fats).

7. Cherry Pie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Almonds, and Unsweetened Cherries
Funny story about this one during a staff meeting. There was the question: “What is one thing you can’t live without under $10?” written on a white board. Everyone signed in and I wrote my name happily and “Larabars” next to it. My manager at the time had told us that some of us needed to explain what some of the things were because he didn’t know what a “Larabar” was. Immediate laughter but I was like “OMG! Let me show you!”…I slipped one into his locker after I discovered a box of the Cherry Pie Larabars with a note on it from him. <3. No, he never told me if he liked it or not! I really think these hit the flavor of cherry pie right on the nail. They can be a tad sour at times depending on how ripe the cherries were during production of the bar. I like it. One of my favorites!

6. Coconut Cream Pie
-Just 5 Ingredients: Dates, Unsweetened Coconut, Almonds, Cashews, and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
Let me just say this: with being vegan – there goes any chance of ANYTHING cream pie. Unless you get into your kitchen and whip up some coconut cream! We’re talking non-perishable here though. Probably a little bit of a hassle to make a vegan coconut cream pie. I would try it, but could I do it without added sugar? Something I would have to figure out. I was first eating this one on my way to work and a good quarter of it dropped on the floor in front of a group of people. I felt comical thinking I should have fallen to my knees and yelled “Noooo!”, but I resisted the urge. Nonetheless, it was a freaking good Larabar.

5. Lemon Bar
-Just 6 Ingredients: Dates, Cashews, Almonds, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Dried Lemon Juice Concentrate, and Lemon Oil.
I have always been a fan of anything lemon flavored or scented. The traditional baked dessert, the lemon bar, usually contains gelatin and powdered sugar. Not exactly compliant to my diet. Larabar to the rescue.

4. Cashew Cookie
-Just 2 Ingredients: Cashews and dates
This bar used to be my absolute favorite. I love cashew everything. Cashews, cashew milk, cashew cheese, etc. Until I found the cashew cookie Larabars. Yum! They even have the Larabar mini duo pack of cashew cookie and apple pie. Perfect for in my purse, going out to dinner with an empty stomach, and for kids.

3. PB&J
-Just 4 Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, Unsweetened Cherries, and sea salt.
This is a whole new twist on fast and flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional PB&J. It is comfort food and sometimes it is seen as junk food. I am ALL for the occasional vegan junk food. This bar manages the texture and flavor of eating a sandwich. I don’t know how, but it does. Great for your kids. Especially the ones that don’t like the crust.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie
-Just 3 Ingredients: Dates, Peanuts, and Sea Salt
I am so guilty of that occasional peanut butter spoon at midnight. I used to stir a spoonful of peanut butter into chocolate non-dairy milk and eat it that way. Then I would drink the rest of the glass of the chocolate milk. Full of sugar. Both the peanut butter and the non-dairy chocolate milks are full of sugar. I haven’t looked for an unsweetened non-dairy chocolate milk. I love the peanut butter flavor I get when I take one bite of this bar. Yummy in my tummy.

1. Apple Pie
-Just 6 ingredients: Dates, Almonds, Unsweetened Apples, Raisins, and Cinnamon.
Holy crap! The stories I have to choose from to put into a review that will be posted on the internet. I will pick the one that is the funniest. About twice a year I go through airport security with my daughter when she goes to and from her daddy’s house. The last time, I hadn’t entirely planned to go through airport security, but they had granted my mother and me with gate passes. I was worried about the sensible things that TSA would take. My Flonase? My food? Yes, they will take your snacks. I had Larabars in my purse. My mother had Larabars in her purse. I ended up sharing one with my daughter and then giving the rest of mine to my mom who had agreed to stay behind because there were several things to not take into security in both of our bags. The bar that I ate was, you guessed it, apple pie. The blend of apples and cinnamon makes it taste like a baked apple pie.

There you have it! Just in case you wanted to know what I, Antonina, thought of the Larabars. Hope to write more about other things soon for you. Until then, peace, love, and happiness.


Thanks, Nina! Now here’s my top twelve Larabars!


12. Blueberry Muffin.

The bar totally tastes like blueberries and is one I will grab when I’m craving blueberries and have to run out the door.

11. Carrot Cake.

Really reminds me of carrot cake! Sweet, cinnamon, and chewy.  It would rank higher if number one wasn’t so amazing.

10. Cashew Cookie.

I much prefer the peanut butter cookie, but this one is a must for Antonina and Lilli. The cashew flavor is mild and a little one note.

9. Cherry Pie.

Totally reminds me of a cherry pie! When I’m in the mood for one, this is what I reach for.

8. Chocolate Coconut Chew.

It is chewy and there’s lots of chocolate, but if you’re looking for the classic candy pairing of these two flavors you won’t find as much coconut. Still, good for a chocolate fix.

7. Key Lime.

I like this better than key lime pie. Seriously. Tangy and fun to eat.

6. Peanut Butter & Jelly.

What a pleasant surprise! This is one of the rare Larabars I didn’t know about before our taste test. It has tart cherries and sweet peanut flavor. So yum!

5. Apple Pie.

Cinnamon and apple. Who could ask for more? We always have these on hand. Well, we try to but they disappear pretty fast!

4. Coconut Cream Pie.

Looking for coconut flavor? You’ll find it right here. So good! These do not last long!

3. Lemon bar.

It is as close to a lemon bar as I can imagine without adding powdered sugar to it. Tangy and sweet. I love the texture.

2. Peanut Butter Cookie.

This bar is exactly what you expect from it – loaded with peanut butter flavor.

1.  Pecan Pie!

It’s my favorite by a fair margin. Sweet, gooey pecan flavor. Now you know how to bribe me!


Thanks for reading, and we’d love to hear what your favorite Larabar is!


Gina and Antonina





Product Review – Hskyhan Pitcher Water Filter

Here’s the answer to one of the most common questions I am asked – what water do I drink. Here’s the super easy answer – I use this pitcher filtration system.

Like many Amazon shoppers I looked on Amazon and chose a system with good reviews and a price that matched up with what I thought was reasonable. Lucky for me, the pitcher turned out to be a winner. On the first try!

It’s so awesome I gave one to my daughter for her place and she loves it, too.

The features I like best about this pitcher are the most important to me: the water tastes clean and the filter is easy to use. I change it once and month since it’s mostly just for me and Lucy. My next favorite feature is how fast it filters. Bonus, it looks good enough to sit on the counter or the table.

Here is my amazon affiliate link for the pitcher, which comes with two filters.

Here’s my amazon affiliate link for a two-pack of replacement filters.

Drinking a minimum of 50 ounces of water daily is important for my health.

Do you drink enough water?


As always, thank you for the time you spend with me!



P.S. You know what else helps with living a balanced life? This book!

K.I.S. Cover for KindleContains amazon affiliate link

June 10th is National Iced Tea Day

There are sixty-one national food days this year, according to . That’s where I read about National Iced Tea day before I saw Carla Hall’s segment about it on the June 8th edition of The Chew.

We’re losing The Chew! I’m so sad. I love those guys and that lady.

Back to iced tea. Carla Hall made a ginger, lime, and mint iced tea, which Clinton Kelly and Michael Symon said was awesome. I decided to see if I shared their enthusiasm. I was skeptical of that flavor combination. Here’s how it looks:

Iced Tea Lime Powder Pic
Photo Credit: Gina Briganti

It looked normal and it tasted…interesting. Different. Not unpleasant. Definitely not bland. My ginger-lime (Thrive Life Limeade)-mint iced tea experience was one of those voyages into unknown flavor combinations that can lead to eureka moments. This one didn’t, for me. It was definitely refreshing.

What is your favorite iced tea? We’ll be discussing iced tea, and all things Thrive Life food related, in our FB group, “Living The Thrive Life Super Group”. It’s an invitation-only group, so tell me if you want to join.

Living The Supergroup (3)

Do you use lime juice in your iced tea?



As always, thank you for thriving with me!




I’m Going on a Picnic and I’m Bringing…

Thrive Life foods from the June specials!


Because the more Thrive Life food I eat, the better I feel!


Place orders directly through the Website.

If you have questions, please send an email to


What I ordered: green beans, bananas (a case, because I use them every morning in my protein smoothie), scrambled egg mix, and classic lemonade.

Our green beans are a favorite snack here with the toddler and my daughter, right out of the can. Me? I love to simmer them with onions, Chef’s Choice, and garlic. Top off with Earth Balance and serve it with a baked tempeh or our Thrive Life Pulled Pork.

I don’t buy eggs at the grocery, because I have to make a conscious effort to eat them before they spoil. The scrambled egg mix is great for a quick meal, especially when I load them with Thrive Life veggies.

Classic Lemonade is back, and not a moment too soon! It’s seasonal, so if you don’t order enough you’re without it until it comes back next summer. I use the lemon powder every day to make lemon water by shaking a few granules into my water glass. This is my travel companion. It’s so much easier to carry than a lemon. (snort), plus it’s certified gluten-free and non-gmo.


No questionable lemon wedges in a restaurant for me!


If you’re a fan of our Cookies & Cream ice cream bites, it’s time to host a party!


Thrive Life groceries are delivered to your door and are ready to make a quick meal you’ll feel great about, before, during, and after.

Cross these off of your to-do list when you order Thrive Life groceries:

Trip to the grocery in triple digit heat.

Chopping ingredients for dinner.

Cooking meat.

Throwing away spoiled ingredients.

Waiting in line for your fast food meal.

Paying way too much for a fast food meal.

Feeling not so good after a fast food meal.


Free Shipping!

Sign up for delivery service and orders over $100 in freeze-dried items are shipped to you, free. No commitment. No membership fee. You choose what you want, and when. We have starter packs ready to go.


Have a Party!

That means telling your family and friends why you love Thrive Life. Facebook parties are a good way to do that, or e-mail your custom party link to them.

If they place an order, you get credits toward free and/or half-off groceries. This month you can get an extra perk – Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Bites for party sales over $300.00.


Can You Do What I Do?

Yes! There is room in the Thrive Tribe for more consultants. Earn commission, free and discount food, and fantasy getaways.

consultant perks

Start by checking out our Career Plan, then get in touch with me to get you started! I started with Thrive Life because I love the food. Now I love the food, my team, my perks and that my commissions keep coming! There is room to grow as much as I want to with Thrive Life. What are your dreams?


As always, thank you for thriving with me!



Independent Thrive Life Consultant


Please note that if you leave a comment anywhere on this blog, your comment, e-mail address, IP address, and gravatar name will be revealed to me. I do not share any of this information or use it for any purpose. If you do not want me to see this information, please do not comment on any of my posts.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and if Amazon were to reveal your information to me, note that I will not share or use the information. To date, I have not received personal information through my custom links. If you are not comfortable with shopping on Amazon or with their privacy practices, please do not use any of my custom links. Amazon Affiliate links help fund this site, at no increased cost to you.



Reiki III (ART) Retreat!

The Big Announcement!


We’ve been planning since early last year, and the time has now come to announce our first Reiki retreat! We will be immersing ourselves in the most transformative, relaxing healing there is!

We have five remaining spots.


When: Friday, May 4th through Sunday, May 6th. In 2018, y’all. (Texas is growing on me, and I love it!)

Where: Santa Clarita, CA
(Don’t worry, my new Texas friends. There will be a Reiki I retreat for you. I’m scouting a location in Gunter, which is about an hour from Dallas).

Level: III (ART) Reiki Master! This is the class you’ve been asking for! Please note that this is a Reiki Master, non-teaching, level. If you are interested in becoming a Reiki Master Teacher, talk to us about class dates for that level.


Requirements to Study  Reiki III (ART)

Completion of Levels I & II. If you have not completed these Levels with me, then we will need to talk about what you learned in your Level I and/or Level II classes. We want you to get the most out of your class.

You must have completed at least six hours of Reiki treatment on a minimum of six people or animals and tell me about them.

Your Level II class must have been no fewer than 21 days ago, to allow for your 21 Day Cleanse.


$600 per person for all three days. This includes:

-Reiki Level III class
-Reiki Level III certification
– The Reiki Cafe: Reiki III (ART) Manual (paperback or eBook, your choice)
– Dormitory-style lodging on Friday, May 4th, through Sunday morning, May 6th.
– Food, drinks, and snacks. Please tell us what your preferences are and if you have food allergies.


Deposits and Final Payment Due Dates
A $60 deposit is due when you reserve your place in the retreat.
The $540 balance is due Friday, April 27th, or earlier.
You may pay for the entire workshop at one time if you prefer.Payment can be made through check or Paypal.



Friday, May 4th

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Reiki III class begins
1:00 – 1:45 p.m.                 Lunch break
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.                 Reiki III class continues
6:00 – 7:00 p.m.                 Dinner
8:00 – 8:45 p.m.                 Guided meditation
9:00 p.m.                            Free time
Saturday, May 5th
8:00 – 8:45 a.m.                   Breakfast
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.                 Chakra Balancing workshop
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.        Lunch
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.                   Reiki Share
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.                   Dinner
6:30 – 8:30                            Deep Listening workshop

Sunday, May 6th

8:00 – 10:00 a.m. Breakfast & departure.
The Reiki Master Teachers Are:
Gina Briganti was introduced to Reiki in 2005 and fell in love with the simplicity of it right away. Adding Reiki to her tool box as a Holistic Health Consultant was a natural step. In 2007 Gina’s Reiki Master Teacher told her she felt it was time for Gina to start teaching Reiki, and offered the Master Teacher training. Since then Gina has published a Level III (ART) manual, taught all levels of Reiki, guided meditation and Reiki workshops.
Holly Bogenholm has practiced Reiki for eight years, receiving her level one attunement in 2010. She has integrated Reiki into her daily life as a technology consultant, in an effort to find balance, bring positive connections, and to prove once and for all that technology and spirituality are not at odds. She was approached by her teacher this year about receiving the Master Teacher training and is looking forward to co-teaching her first class.
Invitation to Contribute to Gift Bags

Each student attending the retreat will receive a gift bag. If you have a book, store, product, service, business, etc. which naturally supports a balanced lifestyle and would like to contribute to gift bags for the retreat, please contact us.

If you’re thinking, “Yes, Jill (for example) makes crystal jewelry and would be perfect for you!” Then, please, tell Jill about this opportunity and how to reach me, either through e-mail: or by responding to this post.



Contact Gina through e-mail:, to start the registration process.


Thank you for the time you spent with us!


Gina and Holly

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March Thrive Life News & Specials

You love pizza and vegetables? We got you!
New Spring Catalog!
Delivery Service is Brilliant!



Start Your Deliveries
When you commit to a subscription for at least $25 each month you will receive a lot of bonuses, like free shipping on preferred items when the order is over $100,  and bonus points you redeem for free food whenever you like for each dollar you spend, early access to sales and a monthly item discounted to around 30% off, on average.
I’m using my free grocery money for our spring sale.
I Can Help Manage Your Deliveries

Choose the option to allow me to help you with your subscription by updating your consultant access setting. You will be able to view any changes made and you can change the setting back whenever you like. I will not be able to view or update your payment information which protects you and me.


I have openings for hosts to have parties. Check with me for a list of dates. If you are not local to the Dallas area, I will send all that you need to have a fun, successful party. Read more about party hosting and benefits here.

host benefits


I love, love, love Thrive Life. How can I join Thrive Tribe?

consultant perks

Start by checking out our Career Plan, then get in touch with me to get you started! I started with Thrive Life because I love the food. Now I love the food, my team, my perks and that my commissions keep coming! There is so much room to grow as much as I want to with Thrive Life. What are your dreams?



Do You Want to Talk Thrive With Me and My Team?

Join us for our next team and customer call, Saturday, December 10th, from 2:00-3:00 PST. E-mail me at the reiki cafe at gmail dot com and I will give you the call-in information.

 Questions? Please ask. 

No questions? Feel free to place orders directly through the Website.



Thank you for thriving with us!




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Join Us On Our Next Thrive Tribe Team Call!

Do you have questions about Thrive Life? My team has been eating and loving our food for two over two years. We’d love to chat with you about it!

This is our first Thrive Tribe Team and Customer Call, at our normal Thrive Tribe Team call- in time for Thrive Tribe team members to ask questions about Thrive Life and to share what we’ve been creating in our kitchens. Now we’d like to invite you to join us on the call to do the same.

Please e-mail me at the reiki café at gmail dot com for the call-in number.

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PST

Date: Saturday, March 10th.


Questions? Please ask.


Thank you for thriving with us!

Gina and the Thrive Tribe

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