Monday, April 30, 2012

THRIVE Smart Start Review

What is included in the Thrive Smart Start?  
When you purchase all three kits (3 months) you get
  •  1 recipe book with 26 recipes from Chef Todd Lenard, monthly menu planners, and shopping list cards
  •   50 Pantry cans of THRIVE foods
  •  12 pouches of THRIVE express (one of each)

Why would you want THRIVE Smart Start? 

As a consultant the THRIVE Smart Start is a great way for you to get a lot of products.  If you are a new consultant I would recommend adding the Smart Start to your monthly Q.   I’m glad I got it.  I think that customers are going to love it and I am much more prepared to sell it now that I have it. 

As a customer the THRIVE Smart start is a great way to start the Q.  (I’m not just saying that I really do think it is).  It gives customers a chance to tray a wide variety of foods in a variety of recipes.  This is a great way for the to decide what they like and how they would use it. 

As a preper THRIVE Smart Start s is a great way to try before you buy.  Lots of prepers buy huge packages of food without ever tasting it only to find out it is not so good.  With the smart start program they get enough of the products that they can try it in every day recipes and then not have to open up the larger number 10 cans to see what is inside.

  As a busy mom—this is a great way to get healthy food on the table fast.  I know that I love having a variety of THRIVE foods in my home store, both to make dinner with and to give my kids as healthy snacks. 

Smart Start Resources:
·         Flyer: 
·         Smart Start FAQs

Things to know about THRIVE Smart Start
  • It is only available through the Q.
  • Cost is $149.99 per month
  •  It is cheaper to purchase in the Smart Start packs then to purchase individually, you receive a 5% discount with the THRIVE Smart Start pack compared to purchasing these products individually.
  • How to add Thrive Smart Start Packs to a Q.
Option 1: If you are setting up a new Q for the first time, you have the option to add the THRIVE Smart
Start pack to the Q through the THRIVE Planner. Step three of this process is called “Add Ons,” and you will be asked if you want to add the THRIVE Smart Start pack to your Q at that point. Select “Yes” to have the pack added to your Q.

Option 2: If you already have a Q and want to add the Smart Start pack, log in to your Q account. Select “View/Edit Q Settings and Shipments.” This will take you to your Q summary page. On that page, there is a left hand column. Select the “Add products” option from that column. This will bring up a “quick pick page” where you can select each of the three monthly packages.

My Review of THRIVE Smart Start Month 1. 

I was excited to get my box.  I opened it with my kids and it was super fun. 

Positive things:
  • It is a fun package to receive.  It is in a unique box that is very fun/friendly to open.
  • There are a lot of products.  I felt like I was unpacking a ton of stuff.
  • All of the recipes for the 3 kits come in the first shipment.  This is great because it has me looking forward to what will come next month.
  • I think this is a great way for people to try out a variety of the foods we offer, and really cook with the food to decide what things they like and what they don’t.  
  • I was a little worried that the recipes were going to be nothing new. But I am kind of excited to try them all.  How does Almond Apricot Thumbprint Cookies sound (from month 3) ?  Or Lemon Blueberry Crisp (from month 3)?  Or Sour Cream and Cheese Potatoes (from month 2)?   I’m pretty excited to try them. 
  • I like that the THRIVE express is included in each month.  This helps customers try a wide variety of products over time.  

Negative things about the THRIVE Quick Start:  
  • There is a lot of flour in the first shipment.  3 pantry cans of it.  I would personally never buy flour in a pantry can so I think it is kind of odd.  
  • There is no Freeze Dried Meat.  This is one of products that people really love and would have like to have had some meat in the package.  
    • The reason there is not meat is because they were trying to keep the price down and the meat is expensive.  
  • There are 5 recipes in month 1.  Cornbread, Cheese Bread, Strawberry Puree, Carmel Sauce, and Strawberry Banana Smoothie.    I thought it was kind of slim.  The caramel sauce and the strawberry puree are both toppings to put over ice cream or toast (or whatever).  But as I look at what comes in month 2 and 3 there are a lot more recipes. 
Conclusion:  I liked it. If I were buying it again I would.  I would recommend it to a friend or a customer.  I do think that if you are planning on purchasing the THRIVE Smart Start you should plan on purchasing all three months.    

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A new set up for expos and events.

It is event season.  

Last weekend a few members of our team had a booth at a fair.  They set up the booth a little differently and it worked out great.  

The background:  At expos events and fairs my goal is always to schedule parties, sign up consultants and to set up Qs.  I don’t sell a lot of product.  I don’t take anything to the expo to sell.  

I pass out samples because we all know that tasting the food is critical to people being interested.  But at a couple of events I have had problems with kids eating or touching all of my samples.   

The solutions:  Lori and Autumn had a great idea.  They set up the main table across the front of the booth and then set up a small table behind them.  They set their samples up on this table and then as people approached the booth they offered them a sample.  When they said yes they then handed them the sample.  It worked great!  Samples were kept under control but were still available for customers to try.  It also provided a spot for materials to but placed keeping the front of the booth clean.  

Here is how it turned out.

Look how cute Erin and Elise look!

Display of THIRVE cans and emergency products.

This is their drawing box and the things they are giving away.  

View of the sample table

Monday, April 23, 2012

The powdered egg experiment

Alert:  this is a very geeky post.  As part of my formal education I took a variety of food science classes.  In those classes we experimented with the ingredients and preparations of foods.  When Shelf Reliance announced the new eggs products I was interested in comparing the old and new products side by side.  I conducted a simple semi scientific experiment with comparing the eggs using a commercially packaged cake mix (pink lemonade cake, which my daughter choose).  Here is what I found.

Shelf Reliance recently introduced new powdered eggs. With three new products.
  • New Powdered eggs (that are minus the anti caking agent sodium silicoalumnate”
  • Powdered Eggs Whites--I am so excited.  This is something I have been looking for.  
  • Scrambled Egg Mix--This is a whole egg product (it’s only ingredient is eggs) that has been specially processed to create easy to make scrambled eggs.  You might remember that I make scrambled eggs from my powdered eggs and with a little extra work it is no problem.  If you don’t want to go to the extra effort then Scrambled Egg Mix is just what you need.

Let’s chat about the New Powdered Eggs.  (or you can skip down to see the cupcakes)

How are they different from the old powdered eggs?
  • They contain only “whole eggs”
  • In the past Shelf Reliance powdered eggs contained an anti caking agent “sodium silicoaluminate”.  In the new eggs (which is what is currently available) the anti caking agent has been removed.

Why did they ever contain “Sodium silicoaluminate?”
  • It is an anti caking agent that is commonly added to powdered foods to prevent the formation of lumps and for easing packaging, transport, and consumption.

Why was it removed?  
  • The leadership at Shelf Reliance is committed to having the best and healthiest products.  One of the thing they did not like was this additive.  So it was removed.
  • One of the problems that I found with the powdered eggs was that sometime when using a commercially packaged cake mix, the powdered eggs would cause the cake to be VERY crumbly.  This was the anti caking agent at work.   

So I was curious, how do the new eggs work in baking.  I made a few batches of cupcakes to try out the new eggs.  And when I say a few batches I mean 4.
  • Batch #1 as a control made exactly how the box said using fresh eggs.
  • Batch #2  made with the old powdered eggs, using the correct number of eggs and water (1 Tablespoon powdered eggs + 2 Tablespoons water = 1 egg)
  • Batch #3 made with the new powdered eggs that do not contain the anti caking agent, using tusing the correct number of eggs and water (1 Tablespoon powdered eggs + 2 Tablespoons water = 1 egg)
  • Batch #4 Made with egg white powder, according to the boxed mix directions for egg whites only.  (1 teaspoon egg white powder + 2 tsp water = 1 egg white)  I do realize that not all cake mixes contain directions for using egg whites only, but I chose one that did because I wanted to see how it compared.

Batch #1 made with fresh eggs.  Turned out just as you would expect.  The cake held together well and the air pockets were small.   

Batch #2  made with the old powdered eggs that contain the anti caking agent.

This batch was a little crumbly, and had a much larger crumb.  Notice the large “wholes” or in the photo.  I thought that this was an acceptable cupcake, when looking at it on its own, but when compared to the others there was definitely a difference.

Batch #3 made with the new powdered eggs that do not contain the anti caking agent.  This batch had a fine crumb (much smaller than any of the others) and held together well.  There was no crumbling.

Batch #4 Made with egg white powder, according to the boxed mix directions for egg whites only.  
This cake tore apart as I removed the cupcake wrapper.  Possibly because the lack of fat in the batter.  The crumb was large and it crumbled easily.  In my experience this is pretty typical of cakes baked with egg whites.

Summary:  Personally I prefer my food to have as few additives as possible.  I like that the powdered eggs now contain only eggs.  The cupcakes with the new eggs held together better and had a finer crumb.  I see those all as positive things.  I am pleased with the change in powdered eggs.  One of the reasons that I like to bake with powdered eggs is that it gives you a consistent result.  Fresh eggs vary slightly in water content and protein content which can cause  variations in the final product.  I am very pleased with the fine crumb that the new powdered eggs created in the cup cakes.  

How to Earn the Shelf Reliance Incentive Trip. Stretch and Grow

You can see a google doc of this at:

Have you ever wondered why I always address you (my team) as Shelf Reliance Leaders?  It is because I believe you are the best of the best.  You are the consultants who are and who will shape Shelf Reliance.    As some of the very first consultants (remember we are only 2 years old) we have the chance to affect the company, the consultants under us, and our customers.

I want more for you then to earn a little extra money (although we all love the extra money), I  want to you be a leader, someone who can be invested, innovative, generous, and share what they are doing with other.    This means you need to “stretch and grow”

Earlier this month Shelf Reliance hosted its second convention for consultants.  It was definitely a time for me to “stretch and grow”  If you didn’t make it to convention, we missed you.  And you missed an amazing opportunity.  tonight I’m going to share with you a few things that I learned at convention.  

How did convention help me to stretch and grow?  
1.  I participated in the talent show.  You can watch our video here.  

This is our entry video, I don’t have one from convention.  But I’m sure you will get the idea. 


You might not know this about me but I am not really a talent show participator.  I am more of sit on the back row of the audience kind of girl.   Participating in the talent show was a great experience, it helped me build friendships, get out of my comfort zone, and really take part in convention.    This is what being a consultant it like for me a lot of the time.  I don’t love the spotlight, but being willing is a big part of being a consultant.

2.  Mingling.  One of the best things about convention is being able to mingle with other consultants.  Being able to meet face to face with those I work with but have never met was a great experience.   I wish we had more time to sit and chat.

3.  I taught a workshop on Customer Service.  My workshop provided me with the opportunity to really evaluate what I think great customer service looks like and how I can offer that to my customers.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a lot of the specifics that I learned at convention.  I hope that you will take this opportunity to “stretch and grow”.  

PS.  For those of you who did not attend this year they announced next year's convention.  It will be March 21-23, 2013 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo Utah.

Business Training:  How to win the incentive trip 

or “Costa Rica here I come." 


One of the best things about being a consultant is the opportunity to earn incentive trips.  This year's trip is to Costa Rica.   

You can learn more about the incentive trip here:

The 25 top point earners, along with a guest of their choice, will be winning a trip to Costa Rica from October 23–27 this year! The trip includes airfare, a 4-night stay with all meals included at the 5-star Hilton Papagayo Costa Rica Resort and Spa in Guanacaste, and an all day tour around the Rinc√≥n de la Vieja Volcano including a guided canopy zipline tour through the tropical forest, horseback trail ride, and volcanic mud bath at a thermal hot spring. Prizes are non-transferable.

Are you excited about it?  I hope so.  But what do you need to do to earn the incentive trip?  This is a great way for you to “Stretch and Grow”

Here are my thoughts:

  • Look at the numbers.    There is a chart (see below) that shows the breakdown for what you earn points for.  I encourage you to look at the chart today and make goals for what you want to accomplish during the contest.
    • Last year the winning consultants had 300+ points or more.  That might be a good place to start your goal setting at.  
    • Last year a wide variety of consultants earned the trip.  Platinum executives and mentors and everything inbetween went on the trip.   If you got this e-mail you have the potential to go this year.  Last year from my team 2 consultants earned the incentive trip.  Both were brand new to the business.  
    • Be sure to study the point breakdown, it is different from last year.  
    • the contest is already active.  It runs from  April 2 to September 1.  Be sure to make this month count!
  • Break down your overall point goal to  monthly and weekly goals.  Go ahead and write them on your calendar.  For example if you have decided that you want to sponsor 4 new consultants each month, that breaks down nicely to one consultant each week.  
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Choose a couple of things to work on.  for example you receive points for sponsoring new consultants, for $100 Qs and hitting new rank advancements.   Working on each of these things each month is much easier then sponsoring 30 new consultants all in one month.  
  • Get your parties going.  If you are going to earn this trip you are going to need to be having parties.  If you are in a slump then it is time to get moving.  
    • Host your own party and have a 2 for 1 have two parties the same week, this way anyone who can’t make one can probably make the other, for example you could have one on Thursday night and on Saturday morning.)  
    • have a friend or family member host one for you,
    • call a past host,
    • contact a customer who qualifies for the double dip.
    • sign up for an event, expo, gun show or fair.
  • Talk to your family.  If you are going to be doing more parties than normal be sure to talk to your spouse/kids about what this is going to mean for them.  Get them on board.  Remember you get to take someone with you.  Make sure to let them know what you are working toward.
  • Plan for July.  Okay let’s be honest.  July is a hard month.  No one is excited for parties the week of the 4th of July.  So make a plan, what are you going to do in July to keep your business going?  
    • Have a booth at a local celebration.  
    • Host an open house sampling a new menu.  Invite all of your local customers.  Make it fun and informative.
    • Last year Shelf Reliance had a great sale during July, which really helped.  They might have a sale again this year, I don’t know, I haven’t heard anything about one.  But don’t plan on it.
  • Make the incentive trip a party of your opportunity commercials.  Whenever you talk about becoming a consultant be sure to talk about the trip.  It can be a powerful motivator for others to join.
  • Make it fun.  Reward yourself for each goal achieved.

        Costa Rica Incentive Trip Goals

            The contest runs from April 2 to September 1, 2012
PointsTaskMy GoalWhat do I need to do each month?
5*Setting up a Q budget of at least $100  
10*Setting up a Q budget of at least $150
15Sponsoring a new consultant
45**Maintaining the highest consultant rank you have earned
20Reaching Mentor rank for the first time
30Reaching Director rank for the first time
40Reaching Executive rank for the first time
50 Reaching Silver Executive rank for the first time
60Reaching Gold Executive rank for the first time
70Reaching Platinum Executive rank for the first time
80***Making $350,000 in team sales volume for the first time
90***Making $500,000 in team sales volume for the first time
100***Making $1,000,000 in team sales volume for the first time

One of the things that I will be focusing on is signing up new Qs.  To do this I will be focusing on Qs at parties, but I also have a lot of online sales.  Many of these people have not heard about the Q and don't’ know.  I have decided to e-mail each person who purchased from my online store and introduce them to the Q.  Below is the e-mail I’m sending.  Feel free to use it or change it (remember to change your contact info and your URL).

E-mail for online orders

Hi there - Heather from Shelf Reliance here.

Thank you for placing your Shelf Reliance order through my online store.  As a buyer of Shelf Reliance's products I'd like to invite you to try our free food storage planner.

The planner is a free interactive way to develop a food storage plan for your family.  
The planner includes freeze dried options like  fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy, along with the traditional grains and dry beans.  It is an easy way to evaluate the food storage you already have and plan for what you still need.

By creating a plan that meets to specific needs of your family, you are better able to prepare for the future.  The planner takes approximately 5 minutes to set up and modify.    The planner makes it easy for you remove items you don't care for (in my case: lima beans) and add in foods you do like (mmmmm... freeze dried chicken slices). Once completed you can easily  print, e-mail or add your products to a montly Q (allowing you to build your food storage over time within a set budget).

To try out the free Food Storage Planner go to:

To check out how easy it is to build your food storage over time while staying with in a budget go to:

Again - thank you for your purchase, if you have any questions  please contact me directly at

Heather Lorimer, Independent Consultant

PS--If you are creating a bug out bag,  we also have a free planner to help you customize your emergency kit.  You can check it out here: