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my bestowed box arrived

Who doesn’t like getting boxes in the mail? And who doesn’t like surprises?

Combine the two and you have Bestowed Box. Well, let’s be honest here – “a box of surprises in the mail” could describe BirchBox, NatureBox, or a myriad of other monthly subscription boxes… but today I’m going to open up a Bestowed Box and see what it bestows upon me!

This box is put together (or ‘curated’ as they like to say) by celebrity nutritionist Heather Bauer. I don’t know much about her, but I do like her book titles – The Wall Street Diet and Bread Is the Devil. She’s both a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist in New York City, so let’s assume she’s well-qualified to handle the job.

The box itself is what I’m interested in…

Unlike NatureBox, where the contents are all NatureBox branded foods, Bestowed contains a variety of health foods and other wellness and fitness items from multiple brands. From what I noticed on their blog, there have been some neat foods and weird stuff in the box in the past. As in, stuff I never heard of or even imagined!

My First Impressions

The box itself is bright orange, so it’s easily identified and looks nice – except for the big white USPS mailing label that takes up half the box! To me, that ruins the presentation. (If the box was half white, half orange, they could blend the mailing label in and keep it classy.)

Then I realized the box isn’t very big, and upon opening it, it’s barely half full!

If they just put some packing material in there, it would give the illusion of the box being filled up. Normally I don’t care how a product is packaged (as long as it’s not going to break,) but in this case, the presentation is a part of the product.

That excitement I had when first seeing the box? It dissipated quickly.

bestowed box contents

What You Get In The Box

Though seemingly just tossed in the box, there is stuff in here to check out.

First, there’s a piece of paper listing what is in the box (and why.) That’s good. It explains why Heather chose the product and gives you an idea of why you might like it.

The actual products, well, they’re more like free samples. Other than a normal size food bar, everything edible was a sample size or looked to be pulled from a retail package. I’d get way more free stuff from walking through a trade show. Heck, I could sample more foods walking through Sam’s Club.

Which leads into my rant…

I have seen similar “products” in other industries. Apparently this subscription box service idea is the hot new business model. It’s a pretty sweet deal for Bestowed – customers pay to get the box, and manufacturers probably pay to have their products included in the box. (Worst case, Bestowed receives the product samples for free.) If they can build a customer base, they can profit tremendously!

I’ve never signed-up for any of these services, not even the cycling one, because I’m simply not a fan of the business model. (On the contrary, I’m happy to shell out the cash for NatureBox.)

California olive ranch oil sample

Stuff I’ve Never Had Before

Going through the box, I’ll admit it’s packed with stuff I’ve never had. Most of it, I’ve never even heard of. So that’s always interesting.

There’s a superfood powder called Deeply Rooted. It’s a blend of fruit and vegetable powder with a blueberry flavor (which sounds just like Greens Plus Wildberry Burst.) The powder is brown though, and when mixed up, extremely dark brown (or maybe even black.)

The bad news is, it’s tough to mix with a spoon (Greens Plus is way easier to mix.) This Deeply Rooted powder nearly requires a BlenderBottle! The good news is, it’s super smooth to drink. It’s not grainy at all. As far as taste, I’d say it’s rather plain and neutral, which would be good if you don’t like this type of stuff, and just want the health benefits.

Next up was the True Bar, made by Bakery on Main. I love coconut and I love cashews, so this coconut cashew flavor was meant for me! It’s good! There are many different textures and the bar has a very sweet coconut flavor. Like, Mounds bar sweet! I’d eat more but wouldn’t go out of my way to find them.

Then I see this Arrowhead Mills oatmeal packet. It tastes like good quality oatmeal, but it’s essentially flavorless. (I added some pumpkin pie spice to flavor it up.) They provide a pretty hearty texture for being quick oats. I can’t really get excited about that though, especially when I have a bag of Sammz Oats in the cupboard.

Something I don’t have on hand, though, are hemp hearts from Manitoba Harvest. I’ve never had these before so I was excited to give them a shot. They’re like raw seeds. There’s very little flavor. (If you’ve had raw sunflower seeds out of your own garden, you know what I’m talking about.)

I added them to some Greek yogurt, which gave it a nice texture, but I still prefer flax meal since that also adds flavor. I really enjoyed them on a salad. They don’t have the crunch of croutons, but I prefer the softness.

Also perfect for my salads was the olive oil from California Olive Ranch. Naturally, I squeezed about a tsp into my mouth, too. Wow! That’s good stuff! It has a very strong flavor without being too spicy. I’ve never had anything quite like it.

Moving away from food, there’s a packet of essential oil towelettes from Herban Essentials. These are like baby wipes but instead of soap, they contain peppermint oil, lavender oil, or something similar for calming, relaxing, invigorating, and energizing feelings (in addition to cleaning hands and killing germs.)

They’re a good size, nice and thick, and they smell amazing when used on your face!

Finally, there’s a $25 gift certificate for iTrain. It’s an online store where you can download workouts to your phone or MP3 player. I’ve checked it out before, but it’s not my thing. I mean, I have Insanity already, and I can craft my own training plans. It would be cool for someone looking to switch up their workout routine though, I would think.

The Value Proposition

Do I like to find neat new stuff? Yes.

Did I enjoy the stuff in the box? Yes.

Do I think it was worth $19? No.

The stuff was neat, but it was just a bunch of samples. The products would have to be things I couldn’t find or obtain otherwise. As in, they’re only sold at a certain farmer’s market on the other side of the country. I bet most of this stuff I could find on Amazon.com.

Had there been a $25 gift certificate for Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, yeah, I’d take that deal every time. But for iTrain, it’s a lackluster addition.

If the box contains $20-50 worth of stuff you’d buy anyway, yeah, it’s a great value. But it’s risky.

My final verdict is…

I’m not much of a fan of these types of boxes, and Bestowed is no exception. I won’t be subscribing, and I don’t see any reason to recommend this to endurance athletes. It’s neat, sure, but not $19 each month neat.

Official website: www.Bestowed.com

*Get $5 off your monthly or annual subscription when you use the code 5OFFBSTOWED01 at checkout.

Product Review Details
Company: Bestowed Box
Product: Bestowed Box
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-07-30
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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1 Comment
  1. I’ve been buying California Olive Ranch olive oil ever since trying it here! I just stocked up (five bottles) yesterday because the local supermarket had it on sale.

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