Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Minute: Starting The Week Off Right

A few weeks ago, I received my first VoxBox in the mail; it's a box of complimentary sample products sent to me from Influenster.com, and so far, I have seriously LOVED everything about the experience. My first box had a great variety of products in it, and now that I've tried them all, I thought I'd round out my review for you.

In addition to the products reviewed in the post linked above (Febreze ONE, Orchid scent = YES; PopChips Potato Ridges, Cheddar & Sour Cream = YES; Crispy Green Crispy Fruits, Cantaloupe = NO), my VoxBox also included a tongue brush from Oral B, an Orgain Organic Protein Bar in Peanut Butter Flavor, and a one-serving packet of Burts Bee's Protein+ Healthy Radiance Powder in Vanilla.

Just quickly, I'll tell you that I've tried and loved the tongue brush! I usually use a tongue scraper after oil pulling and then brushing thoroughly, but this brush instead of my usual scraper made my tongue feel cleaner without all the harsh scraping. I love that when my tongue is this clean, flavors are stronger - which means I can enjoy my coffee that much more!


And what's even better - you can try the OraBrush tongue cleaner, too - for free! Just click here, choose your color, and pay the $3.99 shipping, which is still a steal because these are recommended retail for $4.99! How cool is that?

Onto the other products in my VoxBox ...

I was actually really excited to receive protein supplements in this box, because I have ... something ... wrong with me. I don't know what it is because I've never gone to the trouble of really chasing a diagnosis, but it's something to do with something that causes me to have chronically low blood albumin levels. What it boils down to is this: I have low protein in my blood. I don't know what's causing it, but I do know that when I go too long without really ingesting decent amounts of protein, I get so tired I might as well drop dead, because I'm about that useless anyway. I can't focus, I can't think, I'm irritable, and I'm. So. Sleepy. It gets so bad that sometimes I actually feel sick, and I walk around nauseated for a day or two, eating every protein source I can get my hands on and sleeping as much as possible until it passes.

Obviously this is something of a hassle, because there's really only so many ways a single mom can dress up an egg before it stops being exciting, chicken/beef/fish really rack up the grocery bill after a while, and I'm moderately lactose intolerant.

I've tried several different protein supplements over the years with varying success, and am always on the lookout for sources of protein that are cheap, convenient, and tasty.

Burt's Bee's Protein+ Healthy Radiance Powder is NOT my next great find. The package says it's a plant-based protein, which I was really excited about because I know too much animal protein can be bad for the kidneys - so I was pretty hopeful as I opened this product. It didn't smell awful ... it smelled a bit like peas, but maybe that's the power of suggestion. The package actually states clearly that it's made with "Organic Pea Protein," which my girls thought was HILARIOUS.

It mixed up easily, which I loved because I don't actually have any sort of protein-shake mixer these days, and I was worried that I'd end up with a nasty, lumpy mess. But I poured a little cold water into a glass, whipped the powder around with a fork for a while, and watched hopefully as the mixture took on a fairly smooth, pudding-like consistency. I whipped in more water until I got to the required 12-ounce mark, took a deep breath and went for it.

It was like drinking pudding-flavored chalk soup, with a green-pea sort of scent marker that hit hard if you made the mistake of breathing in while drinking. It was significantly less awful if I held my breath while drinking, and perhaps that was what gave Joey the courage to ask if she could try it.

She took a nervous sip, frowned, swallowed, said, "I like it; it kinda tastes like play-doh," and then started cackling when my mouth fell open in surprise. Eden asked to try it next, took a good sniff of it, and changed her mind.

Clearly this product as we used it was not for us - but then, maybe we didn't give it a fair enough chance. If mixed into a smoothie with fruit to hide the texture and maybe some peanut butter to thicken it up, it could be just fine. The information that came with my VoxBox regarding this product says, "Simply mix with your favorite non-dairy beverage or add to your favorite smoothie recipe and enjoy," and I have to admit that if I had added this to a smoothie it might have been just fine. However, I'm left wondering what beverage Burts Bee's would have recommended adding this too. Coffee? Tea? Juice? I don't know, but adding it to water DEFINITELY was not the way to go about it. In the end, this product was a pass for me. If you'd like to try it anyway and take your chances, you can get some here. Apparently you can bake the chocolate flavor into brownies, and maybe that would have been a better way to go so ... Burts Bee's, if you catch sight of this review and want another chance from our family, let us know.

I did like seeing that this was an organic product that's non-GMO, and that it's also gluten-free and dairy-free. I particularly liked that it's soy-free, as I tend to stay away from soy in response to soy being a somewhat risky food for women who have reproductive-type cancers in their families. I don't personally know how established the soy-cancer link is, but I'm generally not taking any chances. And in all fairness, while this was pretty awful when mixed with just cold water, most shakes are. I would be curious to see how this turns out when used in more of a recipe-type setting.

Now, to discuss a more successful product - the Orgain Organic Protein Bar in Peanut Butter. The info packet says: "Clean, delicious ingredients designed to help you gain everyday nourishment - whenever and wherever you need it. With only 150 calories or less, and 10g of protein, our bars are a perfect way to Replenish, Refuel, and GO. USDA Organic, certified, 100% Vegan, Non-GMO, and Gluten-Free."

These were a much stronger win for my family - I liked the two small bites I had, Joey liked the bite she had, and Eden liked it so much she ate the rest! The flavor here was strong but not in a bad way - the texture was as you would expect from a protein bar, but somewhat less grainy/cardboardy, and I loved the convenience. These would be easy for me to grab on the way out the door to take the kids to school (or pick them up, if I've forgotten to eat lunch), and I don't need to do anything extra to them to make them palatable. It would be easy enough to keep one in my purse or emergency kit, and they're pretty affordable too, at just $16.54 for a 12-count box, putting them at just under $1.40 apiece. They also come in four different flavors and every bar has 10 grams of protein, so the recommendation from our family is that these are definitely worth picking up and keeping around!


And that rounds out my reviews of the Resolution VoxBox I received totally for free from Influenster.com! I hope you guys liked reading about my family's experiences with this box and the products included in it, because I'm already anxiously hoping to get another one! This has been so much fun, and we genuinely loved reviewing these products - even the ones that weren't good matches for us.

And now - now that my kids are FINALLY going back to school after a local flu epidemic shut us down last week - I'm planning to start my day with a hard-boiled egg, some peanut butter toast, and a cup of coffee.



Questions for the Comments Section:
  • What's your favorite source of protein?
  • Have you tried the products I wrote about here? If so, what did you think of them? If not, are you planning to?
*Note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click the links and choose to purchase the products promoted here, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you. However, all opinions expressed herein are 100% honest and 100% my own. Thanks for your support!

58 comments:

  1. THRILLED you loved everything in your box! I typically cannot subscribe to such boxes because I know I won't be completely happy with everything in the box and then the stuff just kind of sits around the house and doesn't get used!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm okay with not loving everything - this box is totally free and cost me absolutely nothing to receive. The products I got in this one were all just samples too - except for the Febreeze One, which I LOVED!

      Delete
  2. I love wild caught salmon for protein. It's by far my favorite protein :)

    I have never tried VoxBox but I'm sure this is something that my wife would love. I will definitely need to see if it's something she's interested in :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmm, salmon! I like it too, but have never had it wild (that I know of). My father used to make the BEST salmon steaks when I was a kid.

      Delete
  3. Thank you for sharing your experience with the VoxBox! This has been something I have been interested in and after reading your blog and your overall good experience with it, I think it is something I might be interested in. :]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say I'll love every box, or every product IN every box. But I definitely think it has been a great experience so far! I'm hoping to get another box soon.

      Delete
  4. This is my first time hearing of Voxbox but I would love one myself. I love the sound of the protein bar too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah the bar was definitely better than the protein powder. I still can't believe my youngest took off with it and ate it all, lol. You should definitely sign up for Influenster - it's fun!

      Delete
  5. I always want to try free box things. If we suscribe do we have to pay or do we just get constant emails from them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's totally free - you just sign up, and then you use their app or website to review products you're already using. So that's your favorite shampoo, you face mask, your soda, your nail polish, whatever. After a while, Influenster will email you to ask if you're interested in a box they're sending out, if they think you're a good match for the products that will be in it (based on the products you've reviewed and liked, I imagine). You'll answer a short survey, then you wait for your box to come if you're accepted into that campaign.

      When it comes, you'll have some tasks to complete, such as writing a blog post, sharing on social media, etc. The more of these tasks you complete, and the more reviews you write, the more likely you are to receive another box, because the more you review, the better Influenster will be able to match you with products.

      Delete
  6. Sounds like you enjoyed your voxbox. I received a hair product from them awhile ago and totally love it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Voxbox offers good and not-so-good products, it's great because you get to try them and find out what works. Thanks for sharing your family's experience with the recent one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem! It's been so much fun - we even liked trying the ones that didn't work for us.

      Delete
  8. Sounds like you encountered good and bad products! I think it's still nice that you got to taste them. It's great that the whole family is involved too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it was really fun for us. We're looking forward to having a chance to do it again.

      Delete
  9. Burts bees actually make protein shakes? I was under the impression that they only make beauty products that are bee related. it is kind of funny how your kid says that it tastes like playdoh. obviously, someone has been tasting them. But I digress. if not for the taste, I think the organic pea protein sounds great. most protein shakes are soy based which is not the best choice really. the pea protein might be a better and healthier alternative

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I did really like that the shake was made of pea protein - there's so much soy out there, and I try to stay away from it for the most part. But I'm faced with other issues - I have a mild lactose intolerance, and the major choices in the protein market tend to either be soy or dairy. A protein supplement that was vegetable based was exciting for me - I wish it had tasted better.

      Then again, maybe it would have been better mixed into a more in-depth type of shake recipe. I sort of feel like it didn't get a fair chance with us, but there was only one packet, and based on what we tasted, I'm not buying another.

      Delete
  10. I think the smell and flavor combo of that protein mixture would really make me feel ill. I have a thing about texture and smells. Sorry that it wasn't for you, but you gave it a try at least. The rest of the VoxBox sounds really awesome. I love those PopChips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, even not liking that particular product wasn't enough to spoil the fun of the VoxBox for us. We had a great time trying everything and discussing the pros and cons of each product.

      The PopChips were DEFINITELY a win!

      Delete
  11. I take my proteins mostly from fish and meat, I haven't taken protein supplements so far. But I'm thinking to become vegetarian in the future and maybe they are not such a bad idea. Thans for sharing your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course. Good luck with your decision whether or not to go vegetarian!

      Delete
  12. Vox Boxes are a great way to try new products. Pop chips are yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love Vox Boxes. I've gotten one before and was impressed.

    Eek about the flu! I hope it's gone for good. There have been lots of kids out at my children's schools because of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I'm hoping to get another one soon - it was so exciting!

      So far, our schools closing for a few days really made the difference, and we seem to have gotten past it, I think. Our family has even been lucky enough to skip by without getting sick this season, which has been awesome!

      Delete
  14. woww sounds you have enjoyed youre vox boxes..i love the pop chips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have definitely enjoyed it - especially those chips. I'm pretty sure those are the best chips I've ever had.

      Delete
  15. My usual go-to for protein is Muscle Milk which I love, but is a pretty spendy option. There are a few protein bars that I like as well but some of them have entirely too much sugar and fat. The Burt's Bees protein powder sounds pretty unpleasant when mixed with water..I think you would definitely have to hide that in a smoothie! I've never tried a Vox Box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried Muscle Milk myself, and I've found that one to be the most tolerable for my tastes too. I like that they even have them already made too, but when I buy it I generally buy the powder and mix it myself.

      I'm thinking that too with the Burt's Bees powder. It probably would have been perfectly fine mixed into a smoothie, especially a fruit smoothie to sweeten it some.

      Delete
  16. Wow, sounds like lots of nice goodies in that box! I recently reviewed some high protein products and I do like them because I get to feel like I was treating myself whilst being healthy. I wonder if we'd get something similar to Voxbox here in the UK...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure, as Influenster is actually the first box like this that I've ever signed up for. I'm definitely going to be looking into other ones too, though!

      Delete
  17. I'm so glad you liked almost everything on your box. I don't think we have anything like Voxbox here in Argentina, that's why I envy you. I get my proteins mostly from meat so I don't eat supplements. But congratulations on trying new things and reviewing them, it's always interesting to read reviews about these products.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The brush looks great. The part about the protein mixture was hilarious. I definitely will be avoiding that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm planning to avoid it for the most part too. It just wasn't for me.

      Delete
  19. What an intriguing combination of products in that box! Sounds like a lot of fun though and a great way to try new things without having to purchase full sizes.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm an enthusiastic carnivore - my protein comes solely from meat. I try to mix and match it as much as I can though :)
    Katja xxx
    www.katnapped.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty carnivorous myself - there aren't many meats that I won't eat, and in abundance! I'll use supplements sometimes though because it's hard for me to eat enough meat to keep my protein up without feeling miserably stuffed all the time.

      Delete
  21. I envy you. I wish Voxbox would sent me one to try out, too. Thanks for sharing your experience with the products.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go get yourself signed up and start reviewing products! Anyone can qualify to get one.

      Delete
  22. I definitely prefer to mix mine with anything BUT water. Water just doesn't mask the taste for anything in my opinion. I drink my water alone. LOL! And any powder mixes with milk. But the brownie idea sounds even better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good thinking - mixing it with water DEFINTELY wasn't the right way to do it.

      Delete
  23. VoxBox's are so much fun. Most of the time you receive great products. I am glad you liked your box.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was definitely fun! I can't wait for another one to come!

      Delete
  24. I can't drink flavored water. I like my water cold and unflavored. But your ideas seem pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can drink flavored water just fine - just not THAT flavor.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  25. Sounds like an interesting box to get. Would be awesome to have regular surprises like that in the mail :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was definitely interesting! I wish there was a way to know when I might get another one.

      Delete
  26. This is so interesting! This is the first time that I heard about the Vox Box and sounds great

    ReplyDelete
  27. Never heard before about VoxBox,but seems really Interesting!
    As a Vegan I always watch at these protein supplement! Now I'm so curious to try Burt's Bees products you described ,but I'm from Italy,and here they are not sold...!Uff...!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's available on Amazon, but I don't know if they ship it to Italy. But then, I don't know if it's vegan or not, either.

      Delete
  28. I am a lover of voxbox too. I get excited every time they send me one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in such a hurry for the next one! I want a makeup one SO BAD.

      Delete
  29. Sounds like some interesting products. I want to try the orabrush. I love coffee too. Yummy....!! I am glad they turned out good for you. I will be planning on too. 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Orabrush worked out well for me, too - I liked it quite a bit. I do tend to prefer my original scraper though, as opposed to the Orabrush, but the brush was gentle enough for me to think they'd be perfect for my kids.

      Delete

Like this post? Leave me a comment - and don't forget to check "notify me" so you'll get an alert when I reply!