Review: Bestowed

As part of my mission to try out as many Food Subscription Boxes as possible (see summary below), I admit to entering nearly every giveaway I’ve seen in my Twitter or Bloglovin’ feeds.

My strategy paid off and I eventually won a free 1-month trial of Bestowed’s box from the lovely Caroline of The Broccoli Hut.

I was very excited to try out the Bestowed service.  All of the goodies are hand selected by Heather Bauer, a nationally recognized nutrition expert.  Additionally, I’d seen many bloggers unveil Bestowed boxes containing some awesome looking healthy, natural goodies – Hemp Hearts, Hot Chili Oloves, Hail Merry Snacks and KIND granola

While my box was chock-full of stuff, unfortunately most of it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

 I did love the detailed information that was enclosed in the box, explaining why each item was selected and including two tips or ideas for how to use each product.

 I also looooved the Green & Black mini dark chocolate bar.  Despite that fact that they are owned by Kraft Foods (don’t even get me started…), this bar was 100% Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan and absolutely delicious.  I like my chocolate to be dark and intense and Mike prefers his a little mellower, but we both really loved this rich and creamy bar.

Initially, I wasn’t too excited about the pouch of Arrowhead Mills Instant Plain Oatmeal, only because I like bold flavors and “Plain” sounded boring.  Then I taught myself an excellent life lesson when I realized that Plain is the least boring of all flavors.  Unflavored oatmeal is not only typically a lot less processed, it’s essentially a blank canvas for any masterpiece I’d like to create.  I topped my bowl with bananas, raspberries, dark chocolate chunks, and cinnamon and this breakfast was the opposite of plain, in fact, it was dessert-worthy!

It was clear to me that the rest of the products were very high quality, but unfortunately they just weren’t my bowl of oatmeal cup of tea.  The Balance Bar was highly processed (#1 ingredient: Soy Protein Isolate), and while I’m not a strict vegan, everything else was way too far from Vegan for my taste.  Not to mention that this box seemed to place WAY too much of an emphasis on protein for my diet.

That being said, I did try the Balance Bar (pretty good for a bar) and I sampled a handful of the Cinnamon Sugar Egg White Ch(Ips) before giving the rest to Mike (old ‘College Me’ would have loved these – but back then I also thought Egg Beaters and Protein Bars were a food group of their own – and Tofu, Tempeh, Beans, and Whole Grains were virtually non-existent to me).

I gave Mike the Simply Snackin’ Jerky, and while I’d prefer he ate no meat at all (and in fact, I feel very uncomfortable even posting this on my vegetarian blog, but it’s the truth), I did feel better knowing that this at least didn’t have the nitrates & preservatives that his normal jerky has.  

I left the FlapJacked Protein Pancakes out for my Mom & Sister to make while they were visiting me.  They said they were pretty good but had a faint after-taste.

Lastly, the box also included a $25 iTrain Gift Card for downloading workouts directly to your mp3 player, including iTread for the treadmill or iStretch workouts.  I thought this was a pretty neat idea and I was interested in trying it out, but in reality, I received my box weeks ago and I still haven’t gotten around to checking out their website.

Overall, I can see why Bestowed is a popular service and the quality of all of the items was high, but this box simply was not a fit for my vegan-leaning, as-natural-as-possible lifestyle. 

Perhaps this protein-packed, far-from-vegan box was just a fluke, but I’m not willing to roll-the-dice to order another Bestowed box.

I’d love to hear from you!

What are some of your favorite unprocessed, protein-packed snacks?

What amazing oatmeal creations have you made?

 

Subscription Service Summary:

As I continue to try out various subscription services, I’ll keep adding to the chart below so that you can compare & contrast and see which service is right for you!

 

Service / Review Links

Price per Month 

(Including US Shipping)

Dietary Pref Countries Notes
Vegan Cuts $19.95 

 100% Vegan 

 Mostly GF

Canada +$8
Worldwide +$15
>7-10 Products
>Includes occasional non-food products (i.e. vegan lipgloss)
Love With Food  $12  n/a US Only  >8+ products
>A meal donated for every box
>Fun Monthly Themes
>Points/Referral program to earn products
Bestowed  $19  n/a  US Only

>All products are selected by nutritionist Heather Bauer
>A Sheet of Tips & Ideas for using the products is included

Nature Box $19.95 n/a for Surprise OR can Self-Select  US Only

>Surprise boxes of 5 large-sized, nutritionist approved snacks
>Call Customer Service to gain access to self-select your snacks

Graze Box $6.49 Vegan & GF Options US Only

>4 individually portioned snacks
>Snacks are customized to your personal preferences
>Referral program to earn products OR donate to charity
>Promo: Get your First Box Free

What should I review next? Suggestions welcome!!!