August and September Bestowed

I’ve fallen a bit behind on my recounting of Bestowed boxes.

Alas, I’ve fallen a bit behind on blogging in general. Not to fear though – I am back with a vengeance. Bestowed is a monthly delivery program of healthy living products – mainly food with some beauty and fitness thrown in. Each month’s items are unique and provide a fun way to try new products without buying them myself (or having to buy a large size).

Since July’s box, I’ve neglected to tell you about my August and September goodies.


In the August package there was:

A coupon for a free Noosa yogurt:


A package of SeaSnax (roasted seaweed):


A bag of rice chips (barbeque flavor):


these were delicious!

A crunchy oats and honey granola bar:


Two flax and chia packets:


Mighty Leaf Iced Tea:


Miracle Noodles (basically low calories noodles – they were weird):


REBOOT (a supplement drink):


And rice vinegar (Bestowed recommends putting it on salads or stirfrys):


As you can see, this Bestowed package was quite large. I could tell it would be good when I felt how heavy the package was (probably from the bottle of rice vinegar). I still have yet to try the REBOOT, iced tea, or rice vinegar, but everything else (minus the noodles which were weird) was very good.

In the September package I received:

Cinnamon Crunch Somersaults (basically, just granola. I think they sell it at Starbucks or Caribou?):


A bag of popcorn (sans butter and salt):


Cranberry almond thins (more or less a thin cookie):


Small packs of olives (I gave these away immediately):


Hazelnut Chocolate Dairy-Free Milk:

I love dairy free milks, so this made me especially happy (sorry Noah, I know how that pains you).

A Greek Yogurt Squeeze:


Fruit snacks:


VitaMelts Multivitamins:

These taste good, so maybe I’ll remember to take them!

And white whole wheat tortilla wraps:


Like August, the September package was heavily packed. Bestowed, you don’t let me down again! I haven’t tried anything from the September package yet, and writing this post has made me even more excited to sample. If anything rocks my world, I’ll tell you about it later. 🙂

Make sure to check out my other Bestowed posts here:

July Bestowed and a Confession

First, I owe you a recap of the July Bestowed box.


Inside, there was:

A pass for two weeks of free classes from Barre3.


A year subscription to Organic Gardening Magazine:


Vanilla Coconut Macaroons:


Sweet Potato Chips:


Health Warrior Chia Bar:


Butternut Squash Puree:


And crisps from 34 Degrees:


I can’t wait to try everything!

And now….for a confession.


IMG_2175 IMG_2076

What do all of these places have in common?

Yes, you guessed it. Coffee. I’ve been drinking it!

IMG_2077 IMG_2054

Iced coffee to be precise. This is a bit of a crazy thing for me since I’ve always identified myself as ‘not a coffee drinker.’ I’m still not having the stuff hot, but I’ve really been enjoying a cup of iced coffee in the afternoon while working at a coffee shop. What is becoming of me?!

Parents, how are you taking this?

Any tips for not getting totally hooked? I like the coffee shop environment and a refreshing drink, but I don’t want to get to the point where I feel like I ‘need’ it. Also, it’s an expensive habit!

June Bestowed Package

I am writing my Bestowed post a little late this month. I received the package a couple weeks ago in the mail:


Bestowed is a monthly delivery program of healthy living products – mainly food with some beauty and fitness thrown in. I’ve had the service since January, and I still get MEGA excited every time the package arrives!

June’s package was a good one. Inside we had…

ZICO Natural Coconut Water – Coconut Water is all the rage these days. But, *deep breath,* I’ve never even tried it! This was my first taste, and I don’t think I’m completely sold. It was a nice non-water refreshment, but I think I’m just as happy drinking the plain stuff right from the tap. 🙂

Bon’App – This item didn’t really give me anything since it was just advertising a free app. Bon’App is a app that calculates the calories and fat in food. It was recommended by Bestowed because it can calculate the nutrition in recipes you make yourself. I downloaded the app but deleted it the next day because I thought that having a calorie counter on my phone is not in line with my own healthy living strategy.

Bakery on Main Coconut Cashew True Bar – This is another of the seemingly infinite number of snack bars in the market. True Bars are low sodium, dairy free, and non-GMO certified. It was pretty sweet (almost dessert-like), and I really liked it! I’m hooked on Larabars and Kind bars though, and I don’t anticipate adding this brand into my regular rotation.

ROOTS Superfood Powder Packet – This powder packet boasts a days’ worth of vitamins and nutrients. The package came with two blueberry flavor packets – you only add and water!
We decided to try it right away
IMG_1805 IMG_1807 IMG_1806

BAD. Neither of us could finish it. Maybe in a smoothie this would have been good, but I couldn’t stomach it just mixed with water.

Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers – I’m always up to try a new veggie burger! This coupon will get a free package of Dr. Praeger’s at any retailer.

GimMe Seaweed Cheddar Cheese Roasted Seaweed Crumbles – Like coconut water, seaweed is another recent food craze. I’m not nuts for the salty flavor, but these small crumbles were delicious mixed with salad and cottage cheese:

Herban Essentials Mini Pack – This Mini Pack of wipes are made with pure essential oils and are naturally antiseptic and antibacterial. I’m generally not too germ-conscious (but maybe I should be more), so I think remembering to use these will be the biggest trouble for me.

Artisana Organic Foods SuperFood Acai Berry Nut Butter – One of my favorite foods is peanut butter, and I’m always eager to try a new nut butter variation. This spread is a combo of cashew butter and acai berry – creamy and delicious!

And there’s the June Bestowed package!

Make sure to check out my other Bestowed posts:

Bestowed: May

It’s amazing. The excitement never seems to lessen any time I see this beauty in the mail:


It’s Bestowed time of the month again!


Bestowed is a monthly delivery program of healthy living products – mainly food with some beauty and fitness thrown in. Each month’s items are unique and provide a fun way to try new products without buying them myself (or having to buy a large size).

Inside May’s package were….

Simply Sprouted Sweet Chili Tortilla Chips – These chips are gluten free and will be good for a low sodium/low saturated fat snack when I want some crisp!


California Olive Ranch Everyday EVOO – This item seemed especially appropriate since I just listened to a Balanced Bites podcast about olive oil. I learned that a lot of olive oils have the nutritional content severely diminished because the olives are pressed a long time after they are removed from the tree. Additionally, olive oil needs to be stored in a dark cool place to maintain its nutritional superkick, and the large clear bottles sitting on the top shelf near the light at the supermarket achieve the opposite effect. The #1 lesson: don’t buy olive oil in clear bottles! This olive oil from California Olive Ranch goes from branch to bottle in just a few hours and is stored in protective green bottles.


Navitas Coconut Water Powder – Coconut water is all the craze these days – or so I hear. I actually haven’t tried straight coconut water, but I do drink coconut milk on a regular basis. I haven’t looked into it too much, but I think the idea is coconut water provides several natural minerals and vitamins. My thought is that is also provides calories though, so it’s not necessarily the greatest replacement for plain water all of the time. This is a coconut water powder that you can mix into 8oz of water for an on-the-go hydration fix.


TeeChia Seeds Cereal – This is probably the item I am most excited about in this month’s package. It’s a cereal made from super seeds! It’s made particularly to be quick and easy, and even though it has the consistency of a hot cereal (like oat bran), you only need to add water (hot or cold) and let it sit for about a minute. No cooking or anything required!


Dark Chocolate Sun Cups – Dark chocolate + sunflower seed butter = enough said.


Larabar Uber – I’ve actually had several of these newish larabar varieties already. The uber Larabars are made with more nuts and protein than the original larabar varieties. I like them a lot as a quick and tasty snack, so I was happy to get another on in the package!


Good Eating Salads by Parragon Books – The final item was something I’ve never gotten in a Bestowed package before: a cookbook! The cookbook offers over 140 different salad ideas, full color photos, and step-by-step instructions for everything from grilled meat to dressings. I flipped through and some of the salads looked really yummy, but I don’t foresee myself using this book too much since I have a tried and true salad recipe that never lets me down: throw a mix of whatever veggies I have on top of some lettuce. Done.


That sums up the May Bestowed package. I’ll keep you updated on my thoughts as I sample all of these new products!

Make sure to check out my other Bestowed posts:

April Bestowed Package

Woohoo!! It’s that time of the month again. Bestowed time, that is.

hello, beautiful!

hello, beautiful!

Bestowed is a monthly delivery program of healthy living products – mainly food with some beauty and fitness thrown in. This package makes my day whenever it arrives, and today did not disappoint.

photo 3(74)

Yay goodies!!! Inside April’s package were….

Balance Bar, Dark Chocolate Coconut – I’ve never had a Balance Bar before, but they are a very high protein and relatively high fiber bar for a pretty reasonable amount of calories (this one had 180). They are also gluten free. And did I mention they are chocolate flavored?! The package had one actual Balance Bar and a coupon for a free one with the purchase of two more.
photo 5(58) photo 5(59)

Flapjacked Protein Pancake Mix – This item came at a very appropriate time given my recent interest in protein pancakes (see here and here). This mix is made with all natural ingredients and hearty grains like quinoa and oats. They’re also very high in protein with 17g per serving!
photo 2(74)

BobbySues Nuts – The BobbySues Nuts company was founding by two entrepreneurs (female, btw) with the goal to make tasty, nutritious nuts but ALSO to help animals. A portion of every sale dollar goes towards building animal shelters and helping animals in need. This package of nuts is a mix of almonds, pecans, and cashews coated with meringue and spices.
photo 3(73)

Zeel, $25 Credit – Okay, so this item was a little weird. It’s a $25 credit for Zeel, a massage-on-demand company. Basically, you call them, and then one of their licensed masseuses come to your home to give you a massage. As if it wouldn’t be weird for my roommates to come home and find me being massaged in the living room?! Second, it is only available to people living in NYC and the surrounding boroughs. I live in neither of those places, so this item is essentially worthless to me. Very disappointing, very disappointing indeed.
photo 4(64)

Cocomama Quinoa Cereal – This item is so good it redeemed the package from the Zeel disaster. This is a pre-made package of quinoa cereal, breakfast style. All you need to do is empty the package, heat it in the microwave, and add some nut butter (I added that last part).
photo 1(75)

ips Egg White Chips – I have no idea what to expect from these things. I can’t say that the sound of ‘egg white chips’ is too appealing to me, but after examing the bag I decided not to knock it til’ I’ve tried it. These chips boast that they are crunchy, high in protein, and contain half the fat of regular chips. I’ll give you an update after I try them.
photo 4(65)

And there you have it, the April Bestowed package!

Make sure to check out my other Bestowed posts:March

Quinoa and Lentil Soup Mix

Last week, I used two items from the March Bestowed package. The first was the quinoa and lentil soup mix.

photo 5(25)

Making the soup was incredibly easy. All you do is combine the package contents with 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring constantly:

photo 2 photo 1

When it’s finished, the soup will be pretty thick – there wasn’t a ton of ‘broth.’ I served over spinach and added some black beans and almonds:

photo 3 photo 4

As you can see, it’s not very soup-like, but I thought it was delicious and very flavorful. It would definitely be a good pantry item to have on hand for a quick, nutritious meal.

The second March Bestowed item I used was the happy squeeze smoothie.

photo 4(30)

Instead of drinking it straight, I combined it with yogurt and cereal for breakfast.

Step 1: greek yogurt (I use plain fage)

photo 2 (3)

Step 2: add fiber one, almonds, and smoothie

photo 3 (3)

I refrigerated the mixture overnight and then ate it in the morning, topped with some granola and almond milk:

photo 4 (3)

The smoothie added a nice fruity taste to the breakfast, but I don’t think I would have liked drinking it straight – that’s more of a personal preference than due to the taste though.

As always, I enjoyed trying all of the Bestowed products!

In other news…Noah and I also tried Tilia last week.

photo 5(27)

We’ve been wanting to try Tilia for a while but have been intimidated to go on a weekend since there always seem to be a really long line (we also took this as an indication that the food would be good). We decided to go on Monday night, and that strategy worked since we didn’t wait for a table at all. Unfortunately, the restaurant was extremely dark and I felt bad using my flash, so I don’t have any pictures….but I will tell you about the food!

To start, I had a spinach salad that came with mushrooms, soft-boiled egg, and parmesan. Noah had flat bread that was served with olive oil and dukka (a mix of middle-eastern spices) to dip in.

For our entrees, I ordered a turkey burger and Noah had Grilled Bison New York Strip. I didn’t try the bison, but Noah said it tasted great. As to the burger – GREAT! The meat was really juicy, and the grilled onions on top added a great flavor. I would have liked some regular lettuce and tomato on there too, but that might have been a little too basic for this sort of establishment. 🙂

We splurged for dessert, and Noah got a butterscotch brûlée while I ordered chocolate cake that came with peanut butter and banana sauce.

Overall, everything was great. The restaurant was also very affordable for the quality of food. It’s a nice enough place though that it seems like you’re supposed to order more than one dish per person, so that brings the bill up fast. That said, I think this is better for a longer, more formal meal rather than a quick bite out. I will keep it in mind for out-of-town guests and celebrations. Bonus: they use many local ingredients!

Bestowed: March


photo 3(36)

It’s time for my March bestowed package. When this beautiful orange box arrives in the mail, it is always one of the best days of the month.

Bestowed is a monthly delivery program of healthy living products – mainly food with some beauty and fitness thrown in. This month’s package was full of lovely surprises.

photo 4(29)

Goodies include…

Oloves Hot Chili Mama Olives – I am not an olive fan. In fact, I do not eat olives at all, so this item was fairly disappointing. They are green olives spiced with hot habanero and lemon. I you’re into it, could be a good snack. As for me, I’m looking to give them away. Anyone like olives?
photo 3(37)

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – These I am very excited about. I like figs as a healthy satisfaction for a sweet craving, and I plan to have these for either breakfast or a snack in the near future.
photo 1(39)

Happy Family-Happy Squeeze Smoothie – This is the sort of item I would never buy on my own at the store. I’m happy to try it when I get it in the mail though! The flavor I received was pomegranate, blueberry, and pear. These smoothies are made from all organic ingredients and have 6 grams of protein.
photo 4(30)

iTrain $25 gift card – This gift card can be used to buy workouts, downloaded right to your iPod or other MP3 player. I haven’t checked out iTrain at all yet, so I don’t know what sort of workouts they offer or how useful it will be – but I will update you once I get some!
photo 2(38)

Nature’s Earthly Choice – Easy Quinoa Lentil Soup Mix – Quinoa + lentils = you can’t go wrong. Even though I love cooking, the appeal of instant foods is difficult to resist sometimes. I’m excited about this product since it will provide a quick meal option without all the sodium and fat that’s usually in prepared foods.
photo 5(25)

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts – Although not as big as chia or flax, hemp is definitely getting more attention in the health-food world these days. I’ve never tried it before, but I’m excited to taste it with yogurt or soup. The package also suggests sprinkling it on salads.
photo 5(24)

Artisana Coconut Butter – I saved the best for last. I was absolutely thrilled to see this inside the package. I have been wanting to try coconut butter for a long time, but I haven’t had any luck finding it at my regular grocery stores. Plus, I don’t know if I would really want to eat it enough to warrant buying a whole jar. This individual serving package will be perfect for giving me a sample. Who knows, maybe it will a new coconut butter addiction. 🙂
photo 1(40)

Look at all of my beautiful things…

photo 2(39)

If you haven’t seen my previous bestowed package, make sure to check them out:January 2013
February 2013

Smiles in the Mail

Typically, the mail I get consists of the following:

  • credit card advertisements
  • politicians soliciting donations
  • Rainbow Grocery’s latest sales catalog

Yeah, not too exciting. So imagine my delight when I got one two three exciting deliveries in the mail this week! The first, was a beautiful Valentine’s Day card from my family.

photo 1(4)

My mom wrote that she thought it would be perfect for me. It was. 🙂 Thanks, family! The second surprise arrival came from Penguin Publishing, which gave me a clue that it was probably from my dear and talented friend who works for them. Little did I know that the package contained pure girl power with a super hero punch.

photo 2(3)

Yep, that’s an advance reader copy of The Ultra Violets by Sophie Bell (published by Razorbill, shout out!) With the book came a delightful letter from the Razorbill team, telling me that they knew I would like this book given my affinity for purple guns, glittery girls, smarties – the nerdy kind – and fun. How do they know me so well?! The letter also pinky promised me that it’s a viomazing read. I am holding them to that.

The third and final smile to arrive in the mail this week was the February Bestowed package.

photo 1(6)

For anyone who missed by January Bestowed package post, Bestowed is a monthly delivery program created by author and nutritionist Heather Bauer. The monthly packages include food and healthy living products selected for their nutritional strengths and general deliciousness. The February package was full of exciting goodies.

photo 2(5)

A look inside…

Nature Made VitaMelts Zinc – Described as a smooth-dissolving option for those who have difficulty swallowing vitamins (ahem, ME!), these tablets provide 100% of your daily value of zinc. I had a few already, and they taste really good!
photo 3(4)

22 Days Nutrition Bar – This bar is gluten, dairy, and soy free, packed with protein, and made of organic ingredients. That’s enough to sell me! The flavor I received was pb chocolate chip:
photo 4(2)

Simply Snackin Jerky – I will admit, I’m not really a jerky girl. Something about the texture, smell, and general idea of it (meat in a bag that’s not refrigerated?!) doesn’t really appeal to me. Needless to say, the jerky sticks were the item in the package that made me the least excited. Still, this particular jerky is all natural with no MSG, fillers, or trans fats. The flavors – teriyaki chicken with mango and papaya and beef sirloin with apples and cherries – were interesting. I don’t know if I’ll work myself up to actually trying them, but for now I am content to let them sit in my cupboard.
photo 1(5)

Nuttzo – Given how I feel about peanut butter, this was definitely the package’s highlight! Nuttzo is made with seven different 100% organic nuts and seeds and has no added sugars or oils. Also, a portion of Nuttzo’s profits go to Project Left Behind, a nonprofit that provides for orphans around the world.
photo 3(5)

Green and Black’s Dark Chocolate (70%) – The final item in February’s Bestowed package was another can’t-go-wrong food: chocolate. Green and Black’s is an organic chocolate company that vows to bring consumers environmentally-conscious and responsibly manufactured products. In addition to a small bar of 70% dark chocolate, I also received a coupon for $1.50 off a bar at the store.
photo 2(4)

There you have it – February’s Bestowed package!

Make sure to check out previous Bestowed package posts:January 2013

Bestowed: January

I joined Bestowed three months ago in November, and since then I can honestly say that when I see this package at my door, it is a good day.


Bestowed is a monthly delivery program created by author and nutritionist Heather Bauer. Each month, Heather and her crew send a package with a minimum of five items (in my experience so far, always more) for you to sample. The products sent are by and large food items, although there is an occasional beauty product thrown in. The foods are selected based on their nutritional strengths, and the goal is to help you discover new healthy foods you love. Sounds good, right? Well, opening the box is even better!!

can't wait, can't wait, can't wait

can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait

The January package includes the following:

la tortilla low carb, high fiber tortillas: I have actually bought these wraps before and love them, so I was excited to see them in the package although slightly disappointed to have an item not new to me. One of these wraps gives you 52% of your daily recommended value of fiber!

gnu mini bars: Four mini bars were included in the package. I love this type of chewy, whole-grain bar, and I am excited to eat them with yogurt for breakfast!

good health peanut better filled pretzels: Obviously, anything that involves peanut butter can’t really go wrong in my mind. Put peanut butter INSIDE a pretzel? Pure heaven. There are many varieties of peanut-butter filled pretzels on the market, but I haven’t bought any because they always seem to be filled with lots of unnatural ingredients. This brand, however, is made with all-natural and non-GMO ingredients. Plus, the pretzels are whole grain!

FiberRich + crackers: These crackers are low-calorie and high-fiber. Heather recommends them for a small snack with staying power.

nektar honey crystals: If you’re anything like me, you have long been confused about whether artificial sweeteners have more benefits or drawbacks. These honey crystal packets solve the problem for you! Made from honey, the most natural sweetener, these granules are an easy way to transport the sweetener without the stickiness!

good foods made simple: The Good Food Made Simple brand makes frozen – but healthy – breakfasts. Maybe the frozen + healthy combo isn’t an oxymoron after all? Unfortunately, since this is a frozen item, I didn’t actually receive one of the products in the package but instead have a coupon to pick up one for free at a store that carries them. I will have to use their online store locator to track one down. The good news is, the coupon doesn’t expire, so I can take my time. 🙂

the whole gang

the whole gang

So far, I have tried two of the items: peanut-butter pretzels and honey crystals. I snacked on a serving of the pb pretzels before going to the gym, and I enjoyed the honey crystals in some hot cocoa while writing this post! I tried a single-serving hot cocoa recipe that my wonderful roommate taught me:

Hot Cocoa for One

Set water to boil. Meanwhile, combine in mug:
- one heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
- one packet of nektar honey crystals (my roommate said honey, but I wanted to try out the new crystals!)
- a few drops of vanilla
After the water boils, stir into mug and enjoy!

This my first time trying to make cocoa like this instead of using an instant mix. It definitely wasn’t as sweet, but it felt a lot more natural and I enjoyed the slightly bitter taste of the cocoa powder coming through. In fact, it was so good that by the time I went to take a picture to post I had already drunk it all!


I will definitely use the recipe again! Thanks, roomie. 🙂