New Bestowed Box delivers monthly assortment of best health food!

MAY_2014_Fina_rev

With so many monthly box subscriptions on the market (hello Birchbox and Naturebox), it comes as no surprise that there is now a subscription to receive a box of healthy products handpicked by a Dietitian. So when I was told that I was signed up for one, I couldn’t wait to see what handpicked delicious and nutritious treats I would receive.

As an RD myself, saying that I adore snacking is an understatement. I am endlessly on a quest to find the best of the best healthy products on there to satisfy my snack cravings, and just when I thought I knew about every gluten-free, vegan, non-gmo product out there, Heather Bauer, the expert behind Bestowed, proves me wrong.

The box consists of healthy snacks, beverages, and other goodies delivered to your home or office. All products are expertly curated by nutritionist Heather Bauer and unlike other boxes, every box is loaded with expert tips, recipes, and advice!

Here’s what I received and what I thought about each product:

Because it is the summer months, Heather created my Bestowed Box with 2 things in mind: 1) Easy and convenient for travel and 2) Healthy and beach body friendly. My first product was a package called ALMOST NUTS: a gluten-free, non-gmo soy bean snack dipped in chocolate and packed with 9 grams of protein per serving! Heather’s tip was to put these in my yogurt or use as a healthy ice cream topping! Love the idea!

san_35a

2) AgroLabs Wheatgrass Boosts: I was a little hesitant to try this second product as I have NEVER had wheatgrass (yuck!). But, surprisingly, this gluten-free superfood was pretty tasty. It was packed with B vitamins and super convenient. It had somewhat of an aftertaste though, similar to what you might find in energy drinks, but is a healthier pick-me-up.

3) CleanWell Wipes: Considering I now go through more baby wipes than someone with a baby since my boyfriend insists we wipe our dog’s feet after playing outside, these were incredibly useful and exciting to receive. They are made with thyme oil and are cruelty-free, biodegradable, and free of alcohol!

4) Harvest Hemp Pro70: One of the highest quality hemp protein powders you can find, I thought this was by far one of the coolest products in my box. I think I know my protein powders well, but this was one I had shockingly never heard of. 20 grand of protein per 30 gram serving packet, this plant-based protein is easily digestible and offers all essential amino acids. It’s perfect for vegans and is also gluten-free! I suggest using this as a base for a smoothie or add to recipes for added protein.

Manitoba-Harvest-Hemp-Pro-70-697658691034

5) Mighty Leaf Iced tea bag: I received two of these in mango, which offered a sweet, cooling, and refreshing beverage post-workout as well as a mid-afternoon treat at the beach! With no sugar, all natural and no artificial flavors, this tea is perfect for the summer months! I made a huge pitcher and kept in my fridge to cool me down on hot days.

6) Raw Revolution Spirulina Dream: Okay, so these bars I have tried before. I tried them last year at the Crossfit Games and they have really taken off since then. These bars contain many things you want in a healthy snack. They are organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, and delicious! Plus spiraling is a superfood rich in protein and contains all essential amino acids. The only thing I didn’t like about this all-natural bar was the sugar content. However, you can pack in your beach bag for a nutritious snack OR pair with lunch or breakfast (eat half at one meal and eat half at another or as a snack so as not to ingest all that sugar at once and go into a sugar coma).

RawRevolutionBar_07_SpirulinaCashew

7) Smooch Snacks: I can’t tell you how fun these snacks are! Not only is the name awesome but the packs are super cool as well! If you have ever heard of Fuel for Fire- these are like those packs! Easy to take anywhere, convenient, and packed with vitamin C and omega 3’s, these are a a new favorite. I loved the natural flavor with the chunks of fruit and chia seeds that I got. A great mid-day snack for both adults and children. Heather suggests throwing in your beach bag for a quick energy boost.

Smootch-Snacks

8) And lastly Sour Cream and Onion BOPS Organic Potato snacks: BOPS are essentially baked potato chips or “crisps” free of additives and preservatives. Another Non-GMO product, gluten-free, and certified organic. The flavor was spot on, but the chips were a bit too airy and there honestly wasn’t much too them. You could definitely tell that less fat was used, but ultimately I think this is the best healthy comparable to potato chips. So if you want a healthier alternative but really love potato chips, give these a try!

Overall, I loved my Bestowed box and loved even more that I was given healthy food that made it easy to stay on track and make good food choices. I’m looking forward to getting future boxes, knowing that all snacks are hand-picked by a health professional that I can trust!

 

Have any of you tried Bestowed? What did you think?

 

 

 

Advertisements

Blue Apron Vs Plated: What’s for Dinner?

This past week I had the opportunity to try, not one, but two (!), well-known food delivery services, Plated and Blue Apron. My parents have done Plated a few times and a good friend of mine has been raving about Blue Apron. And, when I heard that I would get delicious ingredients and easy recipes, based upon my preferences, delivered right to my doorstep, it didn’t take me long to sign up for their trial week.  This new concept takes grocery delivery and combines it with pre-portioned, ready to cook meals! Who hasn’t come home from a long day of work and wished the menu was already planned for the night? We’ve all been there…okay okay except for maybe me since my boyfriend does the cooking and we plan all of our meals for the week but still…you get the point. It’s nice to have healthy meals planned and pre-portioned for you.

My meals arrived Saturday afternoon in a neatly packaged cardboard box lined with ice packs to keep the contents cool for a few hours. Both packages (blue apron and plated) contained all of the ingredients needed to cook each meal, feeding 2 people, complete with recipes and photos. Literally, EVERYTHING is included from the major poultry and fish items all the way down to the lemon, butter, and fresh herbs, such as mint and basil. The only things not included were olive oil, and salt and pepper. Blue Apron even included little bags for each of the meals, called “knick-knacks,” which included items like butter and cheese for their beet pasta dish. This added bit of organization went a long way as I tend to lose things in my refrigerator.

We started with one of our Plated meals first, which consisted of Swordish with Spicy Mango Salsa and Israeli Couscous. The meals for both services range between 500-750 calories ( a little high for me), but use healthy ingredients for the most part. What I really loved was that with Plated you can choose between vegetarian or omnivore dinners. By selecting land, sea, or veggie, you will presented with a variety of options to choose from each week.  The menu is released a few weeks prior to delivery so if don’t like it, you can opt out a week! Unfortunately with Blue Apron, you don’t have much of a choice for what you get for the week you select, so we got stuck with beet pasta, which we don’t really eat. Plus, I would say, with Blue Apron, it’s not as healthy as Plated.

Instructions 

So our first attempt was the Swordfish. While the recipe card came with step by step photo instructions, the list was quite cumbersome and overwhelming. On the website, it said this meal was easy (they have different difficulty levels listed) and certainly it was easy to prepare but it took forever! I was under the impression that everything came prepared, which some of it did, but for the salsa, there was still a lot of peeling, rinsing, cutting, mincing, and chopping that had to be done, which took quite awhile to do. An hour and a half later and dinner was finally served!

Image

Unimpressed with the overall flavors, I don’t think this dish was worth an hour an a half of my time. The couscous were bland and honestly I felt like I didn’t get enough swordfish. I left hungry after this mediocre meal and I wish there had been more veggies. The only thing left to do was try Blue Apron!

On the menu for the week was: Lemon Parsley Chicken thighs, Fresh Beet Pasta, and Maple and Ginger Glazed Salmon. We decided to try the Lemon Parsley Chicken Thighs first. I liked how a separate instruction sheet was sent describing all three meals. It told us that our chicken is done when the juices run clear and that thinly slicing the yellow squash and zucchini is the best way to serve them. This was super helpful in addition to the recipe care they provided us for all 3 meals.

Similar to Plated, the recipe card came with step by step photos instructions, but once again there was plenty of peeling and mincing to be done. I couldn’t believe the amount of prep needed! However, this meal came out MUCH better than the Plated meal. This one was full of flavor, rich and delicious, and actually left me completely stuff afterwards. There was more than enough veggies, protein, and quinoa, and I finished the meal 100% satisfied, with plenty of leftovers too! After further consideration as an RD, I would even say this meal yielded enough for 3 or 4 people.

Image

Not only did this meal taste great but it looked great too! At the end of the day, I was very pleased with both options, but do wish they had some more health conscious and paleo friendly options.

Image

(Maple and Ginger Glazed Salmon)

Here are the pros and cons in my opinion

Pros

Convenient and ingredients sent to you

Great way to get more people comfortable with cooking

Fun activity to do with a partner
Meals will keep for at least a week

You can skip a week

Emphasis on local and seasonal food.

Some specialty ingredients you likely won’t find on your own

Cons

Time consuming! Definitely not practical for me during the week
Reoccuring payments if you are not careful to skip a delivery or opt out of the service-you would automatically be shipped another week by default.

Need lower calorie options

Not always the freshest produce

Plated Vs Blue Apron Prices $$

Blue Apron- $10 a person per meal for 1 week- this includes 3 meals for two people

Plated-$12 a plate Membership Price / $15 a plate A-la-Carte

At the end of the day you are paying for convenience. And while I absolutely loved trying new foods and recipes and getting to experiment a little, I won’t be using this weekly meal service. Both services impressed me with their organization and their ability to make my in-home dining experience feel a little bit more luxurious. I applaud them for their creative menus and who knows maybe I will periodically order from them! I just don’t have an hour and a half to spend during the week for non-paleo meals!

 

Tell me: Have you tried Blue Apron or Plated? What did you think? Do you prefer one over the other?

Reebok and Her Campus Present Dorm Room Bootcamp!

 Reebok and Her Campus present the Fit-Smart Female Dorm Room Bootcamp!
Where: Reebok FitHub South Shore (Boston), 250 Granite Street, Braintree, MA
When: Saturday, February 1st at 2pm

Learn from Fitness expert, Sarah Dussault, how to maximize calorie torch on a time crunch all in the comfort of your dorm! She teaches quick, easy workouts using your own body weight, books, beds, water bottles, or whatever you have at hand.

As a Personal Trainer, Healthy Living Blogger at SarahFit, exercise enthusiast, and having appeared in Women’s Health Magazine, Glamour, Shape, and Men’s Health Magazine, Sarah is all about “enabling your passion for healthy living” even if time is not on your side! Learn the most convenient ways to workout, time management tips, and how a short sweat session will help your study habits.

Make sure to RSVP this free and fun fitness event to receive one incredible takeaway workout, gift bags, and chances to earn entries into a Student Only Raffle!
RSVP: https://hercampus.wufoo.com/forms/s1y4h1so1t7ht67/

Additionally, take on the Fit-Smart Female Dorm Room Bootcamp Challenge! It entails attending at least 4 in store workouts between February 2nd-March 15th. Every time a student comes to a workout they will be entered into a students-only drawing for Reebok merchandise retailing up to $100. Who doesn’t love free workouts and a chance for free gear?!
To earn an extra entry into the raffle all you need to do is…

  1. Fill out a Yelp Review online
  2. Bring a food log for our local Fitness Ambassador to review.
  3. Photo showing us your workout on Instagram (@ReebokFitHubSS)
  4. Bring a Friend

Raffle entries for students only. Winner selected March 18th and notified by March 21st.

Check out the Fit-Smart Female Dorm Room Bootcamp Schedule to see what you have to look forward to!!
2-3pm — Class demo + Raffle
3-3:30pm — Q&A with Sarah including Refreshments
3:30-4pm — 15% off shopping and book signing with Sarah

Dietary Strategies to Health

Now that I am officially out my internship, I have more time (for now) to dedicate posts to nutrition and health info..yay! So, I decided to dedicate this particular one on dietary strategies for success.

The Bad News: It’s not what you think

The Good News: You will have gained a plethora of information and usefulness

I should preface this by giving credit to my inspiration “The Institute for the Psychology of Eating,” as their article (By Marc David) “5 steps to make people eat exactly what you want,” is what inspired this post. 

So, let me get started. 

1) Seek out dietary professionals…aka knowledge and education..not information.

I recently attended a Wellness Retreat and while there were a lot of great health professionals there, there were also a lot of incorrect nutrition jargon and misinformation thrown around. The simple solution: seek out those who have at least 4 years of schooling in nutrition coupled with a dietetic internship to impart their wisdom as opposed to Google’s or “health coaches” information. Everyone’s nutrition needs are different and the only way to ensure that your needs will be met with evidence based answers and solutions coupled with empathetic counseling and MNT is through the help of an RD.

2) Add passion

Both as a nutritional professional and a client, passion is needed to succeed. If you don’t have passion as a professional, how do you expect to impart passion onto your client and if you, as a client, do not have a passion for your own health, how in the world do you ever expect to get on track?

As Marc David, founder of the Psychology of Eating would put it, “Nutrition information delivered without passion is like eating a meal absent of any flavor.”

3) Honor your body no matter what you eat

I have come across too many people who obsesses over every morsel they consume. Whether what we are currently consuming is super healthy or completely sucks, it’s important to be mindful when eating, paying attention to hunger/fullness cues, and enjoying our food, honoring ourselves and our body in the moment and in our food choices. We will most often need to forgive ourselves at times but also allow ourselves the simple joys of life  and food. I know I struggle with respecting what other people choose to put on their plate, but I am realizing how important it is to respect how others decide to nourish themselves and to provide help, knowledge, and support when it is sought out. Not everyone will seek out good nutrition for various reasons as there are often bigger issues to leading a nutritious lifestyle, and it is my job to figure out what is driving the way individuals choose to eat, whether good, bad, restrictive, or not. At the end of the day, I can’t tell them what to eat, I can only impart them with the knowledge that I know, if incorporated into their lifestyle, will be of benefit to their bodies. But regardless if they choose to follow my advice, I hope they take away the message to strive to honor their health and bodies every single day and respect themselves.Image

I agree with Marc when he says “I believe if we’re going to tell others how to eat better, then our dietary advice has real nutritional value when it’s more than just about food.”

Super Cool Event Coming your Way!- Wellness Retreat: Boston

Hey friends!

Expect a short post, but I just had to share this super cool event I just signed up for! It’s called Wellness by the Water Retreat (they offer it here in Boston a few times a year). Basically get ready for yoga, relaxation, and a day of HEALTH, by the water of course!

It’s MAY 19TH and I believe it’s an all day event committed to fitness and health (yoga, spa service, nutrition). What more could you ask for?

 

Think:

  • Bootcamp
  • Yoga
  • Stretch & Breath Work
  • Nutrition
  • Spa Services
  • Wellness Services
  • Catered nutritious meals and snacks
  • Health & Wellness companies providing information and samples of their products!

Be sure to sign up ASAP to reserve your spot and if you sign up let me know! I’d love to see you there and I would love for you to join me in this day of relax and renewing the body, mind, and spirt. 

Just click here to sign up! Price is usually around $200. Yay hope to see you there!