Saturday, July 12, 2014

nature box june 2014 review

i feel like i am always so behind on my reviews!  :(  i am trying to catch up and am almost current thankfully.  somehow it seems like there are just never enough hours in the day, or that i am too tired to even think about blogging.  i also think i am going to use my blog for more bloggy type things -- more of my personal feelings and pictures, instead of just box reviews and beauty stuff.  that was my intention in the beginning, but i still find it hard to be open and honest about things that i am embarrassed about (things to do with my illness), but i think it will be good for me.  what do you all think?

anyway, this review is of a new snack box i found -- nature box.  

it's hard for me to find good snack boxes because there are a lot of foods i can't eat or am sensitive towards, so i can't subscribe to most of the fancy food boxes out there, since i know i won't be able to eat the majority of what comes in the box.  the first thing that excited me about nature box was that they list ALL of the ingredients for each snack, you can filter snacks based on your preferences (gluten free, dairy free, etc), and they show the complete nutrition facts label!  i was so stoked when i went on their website because not only do i have food restrictions (i follow the IC diet) but i also watch my sodium because of my heart, and i watch my calorie intake because my exercise is limited, so i am definitely a label reader.  being able to see the labels before i pick my snacks was so exciting to me, because they are the first box i have seen that lets you do that!  woohoo!!

what is nature box?
-  it's a monthly subscription with three tiers of plans.  you can get 1 bag of 5 different snacks for $19.95, 2 bags each of 5 different snacks for $29.95, or 4 bags each of 5 different snacks for $49.95 (discounts are available if you prepay for longer subscriptions).
-  there are over 100 types of snacks to choose from including sweet and savory selections, and all snacks are free of artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup -- they're healthy and good snack choices, selected by a team of nutritionists!
-  for every box purchased, nature box donates one meal to feeding america to help hungry americans.
-  you can also buy additional snacks to add on to your box for $3.99 per bag, or you can buy snacks from the marketplace without a subscription.
- ships around the 10th of the month.
- ships to canada!

if you want to sign up for your own nature box, you can check it out here, and use promo code SNACKHEALTHY to get $10 off your first box!

i was pretty excited to get my first box, and i chose to pick my own snacks just because i have so many restrictions, like i said.  shipping took about a week but the box was nicely packaged.

i was pleasantly surprised to see how large the bags were.  the website says each bag contains 3-5 servings, but you never know.  they are the same size as bags of snacks you would get at the grocery store, and they are resealable, which is a great bonus!  plus, i got a surprise extra bag because it was my first order, which i thought was super nice!

the first bag contained apple pie oat clusters.

i love anything apple pie flavored, so this was the first snack that i chose for my box.  i am really glad that i did too, because these are delicious!  they taste like an oatmeal cookie but with a little more of a caramel apple hint to them.  they are more crunchy than chewy, and they are nice and bite-sized (about the size of a half-dollar).  the saturated fat and sugar content of these is a little bit high, but after 3-4 of them, i found my sugar craving satisfied enough that i didn't need to eat any more.

the next bag contained peanut butter and jelly granola.

i'm not a big peanut butter fan -- i'll eat a handful of reeses pieces or a tablespoon on an english muffin now and again, but it's not one of my favorites.  i didn't think this would be a strong peanut butter flavor because of the strawberries and raisins, but i should have assumed that it would be because it is the base of what holds the granola together.  so the point is: this is extremely peanut butter-y.  my boyfriend really loved it, and ate it right out of the bag with some milk!  he also put it in his yogurt in the morning.  the nutrition facts are typical of most granolas, but i think that it has a great protein content, on the higher end than most you will find in the stores.

the next bag was full of these baked sweet potato fries.

i looooove sweet potato fries!  if i ever have the option of having sweet potato fries over regular fries, there is no question in my mind to switch, so i scooped this snack up right away.  i was kind of iffy on how they were going to taste because it's hard to capture that kind of flavor into a snack, but they are surprisingly tasty!  the fries are crisp and crunchy without being too heavy or greasy in your mouth, and they have a slight spice at the end that is a welcome flavor.  they're pretty low on all "bad" nutritional aspects and low in calories, so they're a nice tasty treat when you feel like something salty!

next up were sourdough cheddar pretzel bites.

i mostly got these for my boyfriend because i knew that he would love them, and with the shocking 13% daily value of sodium in only nine pieces, i knew that they wouldn't agree with my heart.  i tried a few and they were okay, but just your typical pretzel bites covered in fake-tasting powdery cheese.  these are my least favorite snack and while he ate the package so that it didn't go to waste, we both agreed that we wouldn't be getting this snack again.

this snack bag is the surprise bag they sent me, which is poppy seed sticks.

this is the snack that surprised me most.  i usually don't like anything with poppy seeds in it, but i made myself try one so that i could accurately describe it and they are actually really good!  they have a nutty, slightly cheesy cracker taste and would be perfect with some cheese and a plate full of veggies and dip.  my boyfriend freaked out when he saw these so i gladly passed them along, but i wouldn't have minded if he had left them behind.  i also think it's really nice that nature box sent me an extra bag for free because it was my first box, since each extra bag is $3.99.  it made me feel special and welcomed, and was a very nice touch.

the last bag were pouches of mango-orange fruit bites.

i took this photo from the nature box website because i forgot to take a picture when i ate mine, and in the bag they come in individually sealed foil pouches.  i have had these before, so i was excited when i saw them in the store.  they are like little fruit snacks but are a little harder, more of the texture of a twizzler bite and slightly larger.  they are a mango-orange flavor that is natural, so it's not overly sugary.  although the sugar content is high, it's kind of to be expected from a fruit snack, especially from two fruits that have naturally high sugar contents.  but it's only 70 calories, and it's a nice treat to have after a heavy meal to cleanse your palate.  the bag came with five sealed pouches that each had a good amount in them, so i didn't feel cheated.

overall, i am very happy with my first nature box!  i love that you are able to see the content of all the food and pick which ones are best suited for you.  i live near a grocery store that has an extensive specialty foods section, but even then, it can't carry every snack in the world.  this way, i can find and try new snacks that are okay with my diet.  i think that the price is completely fair to current store prices, and in some cases even less (granola can get really pricey!).  i can't wait for this month's box to get here and try my new selections!

what do you think about nature box?  do you receive this box or do you plan on giving it a try?  what are your favorite healthy snacks?  i would love to hear from you!  leave a comment below.  :)

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