Healthy Surprise: Subscription Snack Box filled with goodies and delivered right to your door

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Healthy Surprise is a company, which delivers snack filled boxes to your door on a monthly basis. The company also offers specialty themed boxes, like their Chocolate Box that is filled with anything and everything having to do with that cacao bean we all love. You also have different box levels and they just get fuller and fuller as you go up the scale:

  • Starter Box- $40.00 a month and filled with snacks for 1 to 2 people. Each box has 11+ full sized snacks to enjoy.
  • Big Box– $60.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 1 to 4 people. This box comes with 16+ full sized snacks to indulge in.
  • Combo Box– $95.00 a month and filled with snacks to satisfy 2 to 6 people. The Combo Box is huge and filled with 27+ full sized snacks that will satisfy any taste-bud and then some.

All treats are soy free, gluten free, natural to vegan. Snacks are corn free and even plant based. I also found they research very carefully what they offer in their boxes from products not made in China to the ingredients used. You won’t find MSG to High Fructose Corn Syrup. Worried about allergies? Healthy Surprise hunts for dairy free, peanut free, shellfish free, no artificial flavors, dyes, color, to even no artificial sweeteners used in their health friendly boxes. No Partially Hydrogenated oils or yeast extracts to upset your taste buds! It’s munching but at a higher level of quality and some can same say less guilt. I’m always for feeling better and less guilty about snacking!

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One thing I dislike about monthly subscription boxes is the wait. You miss that delivery window and you are waiting 30+ days to get anything. Not with Healthy Surprise!  They even have a count down and I ordered one day in the early hours and I am not kidding, I was opening up my box within 48 hours. Healthy Surprise is a California based company, so I got quick delivery and so can you, as they ship for free anywhere in the U.S. You can also set when you want a box shipped and I like that level of control when ordering.

Now to the box we go! I received the smaller box called the Starter Box and calling it small is an understatement, with 13 items but does it live up to it’s price tag? Let’s see….

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  • Hail Merry Macaroons Blonde– The bag comes with 1.75 of puck shaped macaroons. They are small but packed with flavor and no skimping on the coconut. I loved these and ate them with fruit, then dipped some in chocolate and two macaroons swam in an almost empty jar of Fleur de Sel Caramel that was too good to waste. Love these and they are addicting. The product is gluten free and Vegan friendly. Hail Merry uses top notch ingredients from organic maple syrup, shredded coconut, extra virgin coconut oil to raw almond flour. You add vanilla and sea salt and that makes up the entire list of contents. Simple and delicious and I’m a fan. A bag this size retails for about $4 to $5.

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  • Gorge Delights, Just Fruit Bar in Apple Cherry 100% grown U.S. fruit, this bar is sort of like the “fruit leather” you find at Trader Joe’s. A little thicker and it’s made of apple puree, apple concentrate, and cherry concentrate. The bar is simple but delivers more of an apple punch than a cherry one. Due to it’s ultra minced texture, the bar is a little on the gummy side but not satisfying in texture like a gummy bear is. It’s more gummy and smashed. Was not a fan of the bar and stopped at two bites because the cherry was just not there for me and it started to taste like fermented fruit. I really wanted to like this bar because it does satisfy 2 fruit servings of your daily requirements and I would try it again but in another flavor. This bar retails for about $1.16 when purchased in bulk sizes (for retail).

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  • Oloves in Basil and Garlic These are natural green pitted olives and they have a touch of salt, sunflower oil, basil, garlic, vinegar, and acidifiers listed as lactic and citric acid. The pouch weighs 1.1. ounces and safely keeps the green olives intact. No broken or smashed ones and I added them to a salad, which made my dinner look like a beauty and my taste buds were 100% satisfied when it came to the flavor and texture. You get a nice brine that is not over loaded with acids or too high in flavor when it comes to the marinade. Oloves found the perfect balance where the other flavors compliment versus taking away from the olive. A bag this size retails for a little over a $1.00.

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  • Hail Merry Grawnola in Orange and Cranberry– Another hit for the Hail Merry family and this raw nut and fruit blend is packed with flavor that is perfectly balanced. Many orange flavored items are over powered with a poor tasting juice that smells better than it tastes, but not here. You get the hints of citrus and the granola is crunchy and not coated with that honey/orange juice glaze that gives you sticky fingers. You have ingredients like raw almonds, maple syrup, buckwheat groats, fresh orange juice, dried apples, raw pecans, and cranberries. The blend continues with raw sunflower seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, vanilla and a touch of cinnamon and salt. Perfect and craveable, plus energy packed. Most ingredients are organic and this product is gluten free, Vegan friendly, grain free and packed with Raw Omegas. Hail Merry products make you look at the label twice and it’s not a trust issue, it’s that you can’t believe something so good is not doused in sugars and bad stuff! This 1.5 ounce bag retails for between $2.50 and $3.00.

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  • Buddy Fruits in Mango Passion & Banana– The drink comes in a resealable container and Buddy Fruits is simple in the ingredient list. You have pure blended fruit derived from Mango. Apple, Banana, and Passion Fruit juice…..that is all. The pouch delivers a taste just like you would imagine the fruit combination would be. Great product to drink as it is or even add to smoothies. I semi-froze mine to enjoy on a hot day and it got a nice slush consistency that made me wish I had 2 of these in my box. The 3.2 ounce pouch retails for about a $1.00 to $1.25.

 

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  • Freshly Wild Super Foods, Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard– Healthy surprise sent me another thing I’ve been dying to try, kale chips. Because let’s face it, everyone gets “munchy” from time to time, but potato chips are all kinds of unhealthy and bad for any diet in excess. From Freshly Wild, a small Portland, Oregon-based health food company, comes Kale Joy in Jazzy Sweet Mustard flavor. Not just your average dehydrated kale chip, these are handcrafted and carefully dehydrated in a small kitchen “powered by renewable wind energy”. Cool. Gluten-free, non GMO, and vegan, three things that are quite popular right now. Using “… only the best juices, nuts, seeds and spices”, this little guy is coated in crunch and flavor, with little bits of nut and seasoning all over. Neat-o. In a resealable .75 ounce package to boot. Crispy without being crumbly, and a satisfying crunch that fills that “munchy” feeling I mentioned earlier. Tangy and sweet. Two things jump out at me: 1 is that unfortunately, a lot of the chips became “shards” at the bottom of the bag. And 2 is that for only an ounce, you’d be paying between $4.50 and $6.00 a bag. Yowza. Fortunately, a little bit goes along way.

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  • Snip Chips in Dill Pickle– This is a Parsnip and Coconut snack mix. I have never even sniffed a blend like this or much less had one but I’m a try it all and then decide type of gal. The product is parsnips, raw coconut, raw cashews, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic and lemon, plus a touch of chipotle, mustard seed, and Himalayan crystal salt. I dive in and it’s not crispy but more of a dehydrated like texture, I have seen these at my local Sprout’s Market and they come in other flavors. I like dill pickles and found myself puzzled by the blend as I knew it.  I did go back for a second and third piece. The verdict is still out on this one for me as much as I tried to make-up my mind about it. I guess I’m in the middle about it, I don’t love them or dislike them but unsure if I will be having more. Sun Chips does have other flavors and maybe the cheesy one would be better. This bag at a weight of 2 ounces retails between $5.49 and $5.99.

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The Daily Crave Veggie Chips– Remember that “munchy” feeling I mentioned? The one that comes between meals and runs diets? Yeah, that one. Here’s another product that should make you feel a little less guilty about munching. Note that I said “should”. I’ll explain that in a minute. The Daily Crave is a snack food company that boasts on their website:

*100% All Natural
*100% Vegan
*No Artificial Ingredients
*No Dairy
*Non GMO
*No Artificial flavors
*No Artificial coloring
*No Hydrogenated Fats
*Perfect for Dipping

That’s a mouthful. And it’s got a neat package, a good price, clever marketing, what’s not to love? Well, a close look at the ingredient list reveals that these are not all that different from, say, those chips in a tube shaped can that stack so nicely. Potato flour, potato star hotel, and oil are the first 3 ingredients. And while there is salt and sugar, it’s thankfully in very small amounts. Almost as small as the amounts of actual veggies in these veggie chips. Now, that’s not to say they aren’t tasty, because they are. But for all they got right, they also got quite a bit wrong. Snazzy packaging and trendy buzzwords do not a great product make. A small filled bag at just 1 ounce retails for $1.33 (retail bulk price).

  • Snapz Premium Grilled Zucchini Crunch & Snapz Premium Pineapple Crunch– I hate being a snack buzzkill, so let me mention a couple of yummers that I loved. Snapz Crisps makes an entire line of gently dehydrated fruit and veggie crisps, so there’s something for everyone. They are a “Brand leader for non fried fruit and vegetable crisps, 100 % natural, not fried or baked. Using unique technology to ensure the products are very crisp (?) they combine the fun and enjoyment of crisps with the goodness of fruit and vegetables. Appealing to all ages groups — young and old alike.” I got to try both sweet and savory with their Premium Pineapple and Grilled Zucchini flavors. While I appreciated the subtle flavors of the grilled zucchini, a little touch of sea salt would have really livened it up. But the pineapple crisps were a hit all around. Too often there are added oils and sugars in dried fruit that completely drown out the flavors of the fruit, but not here. I love the one item ingredient list: Pineapple. Winner! Tasty, crunchy, tangy. Not oily, not overly sweet. What’s not to love? Fat free, gluten free, nut free, GMO free, sugar free, salt free, preservative free…can it be true? It is, but I came crashing down to earth when I went to buy some more: 12 bags (0.46 oz each) were over $17 plus tax and shipping at Amazon. That stings. I really hate that the closer you get to real foods the more it costs, but that’s the reality in America anymore. I will say I really, really enjoyed these and will be on the lookout for them when next I darken the market’s doorstep.

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  • Righteously Raw Chocolates in Mint, Rose, and Dark chocolate– The Dark has a nice creamy and intense cacao notes. It’s not perfume-y, just chocolate satisfaction all the way through at 83% pure cacao you can believe it’s good and no bitter notes at all. It’s the espresso of chocolates! The Mint version has 82% cacoa and it’s not your typical mint that is creamy, think more of a “dry mint” taste where your mint is derived from peppermint so you get the sharp notes combined with the dark chocolate. A good combination and I liked that it was different than the typical mint flavors I have tried before. Then comes the Rose. I love roses and have even indulged in pastries that contain rose water……I took a bite and the flavor was so off, that I quickly chewed and opened the Dark version for salvation. It tasted like something bad had been infused and not like any rose I have eaten or even smelled. The tricky part is the bar smells like just dark chocolate but when you bite, something bitter and sour just takes over your mouth. It says red raspberry powder, brown rice protein powder to red beet are mixed in with the chocolate. Rose hips is last on the list and maybe it’s the flavor combination but it’s a no-go on the Rose and I love chocolate and have even continued to eat chocolate that when asked how it is, I reply “ummm, it’s okay”, but continue munching. Could not do that with the Rose. Righteously Raw did well with the Dark and surprised me nicely with the Mint, so go there when buying this one. The 3 chocolates I received are considered “bite-size”, so finding a price point was a bit difficult but buying in bulk of a bag of dark was 16 pieces for $22.99 via Amazon, making it under $0.70 per bite size bar.

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  • A $25.00 gift card– was also included and can be used towards the purchase of a Healthy Surprise box, making the smaller one more than 50% off. Good company when it comes to continuing patronage with their customers.

I liked being able to try some brands I had never heard of, brands that I have seen but knew nothing about, and seeing the familiar ones like Hail Merry but trying new items from a company I know and purchase products from. Exploring is fun and The Healthy Surprise Company does the hunting while you do the munching. I believe every subscription company should at the very least be tried once and to get a good idea, try it a second time. I did feel some items were overly priced by companies but that is not Healthy Surprises’ fault. It did let me adjust my shopping list by making sure to add some companies to my list and knowing what products to just walk away from. If you are into exploring new items and new flavors, but in a “better for you” way, try Healthy Surprise. I found a great link you can use, which is via Groupon. For a limited time you can get the $60 box for $30!!!

Visit Healthy Surprise and get the Groupon deal at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Healthy Surprise. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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TeeChia: Organic Sustained Energy Cereal #Review in Blueberry Date and Cranberry Apple

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TeeChia is a company that takes making a healthy and super nutritious cereal to another level. You have a powerhouse of super seeds like:

  • Chia
  • Quinoa
  • Flax
  • Ramon
  • Amaranth
  • and Pumpkin

I was able to test out both flavors and see for myself how they are.  So far I like that the product uses Organic ingredients and is Non-GMO verified.  Sweetened with only fruit and is rich in fiber.

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Blueberry Date– Gluten-Free and just one packet provides you with 28 grams of Whole Grains, 6 grams of Fiber and 6 grams of Protein. You get a healthy dose of 1200 mg of Omega-3 fats and the cereal contains zero grams of refined sugar. The Blueberry Date also has currants and real dried blueberries, in addition to apple juice. The base of the cereal is rolled oats, dates and rice flour. The directions suggest to simply add water and you can also punch up the protein by adding milk or yogurt after. I went with a simple Lemon flavored Australian yogurt that complimented the Blueberry flavor perfectly. The reason I mention the yogurt being Australian, is that it’s a thicker base and I found the cereal even though I followed the directions and added the hot water first, it remained in a gritty/sandy state. I let everything soak up but it did not seem to want to play well so I resorted to a 20 second zap in the microwave and that helped it blend or at least hydrate to the point I felt this is as mixed as it’s going to get. Tasting it alone was a bit on the flavorless side and I felt the yogurt helped add flavor and reduce what I felt was not a pleasant texture. This is not an oatmeal, as the directions say you can use cold water if you do not feel like eating it warm/hot. My yogurt saved it and I appreciate the healthy aspect and the nutritional value TeeChia products provide. I remained unsure on wanting to have more and knowing this is not a product I can enjoy as-is, due to the odd texture and consistency it delivered.

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Cranberry Apple– Pretty much the same nutritional facts and contents but this cereal has 7 grams of Protein, versus the 6. Smelled better than the Blueberry variety and you pick-up the Cranberry scent immediately, even though this bag looked different (the base) from the Blueberry Date variety. This one had less fruit but looked more powder like. I decided due to the great Cranberry aroma, I would just eat this one with milk and heated up the milk. I added it to the cereal and again the apple squares did not re-hydrate correctly and this cereal was just sandy and goopy. Still smelled great but when I took the first bite, it was so bitter and you had what can be described as to what you find at the bottom of a cracker bag….dusty and powdery with a taste that was so off. I just could not continue. This cereal did not taste like it smelled! I most times make the best of a situation and especially when it comes to eating healthy. I can get past textures but not when the texture plus the flavor was just so….well, bad unfortunately. I wasted milk in my eyes and I even contemplated adding more cranberries because you can see from the picture that there was just not a lot of dried fruit. I then realized there was no saving this bowl and just discarded it because why add more when in the end the bitter and off taste can’t be fixed.

I wanted to really like TeeChia cereals and mostly by what they contain. I have eaten these seeds and actually add them too many of my meals from salads to yogurts. I don’t know why TeeChia’s same mix of seeds tasted so different from mine. I thought maybe the milling process caused some quick oxidation to occur but there was definitely something off in the Cranberry variety. The cereals need some reworking because if you go by the contents, they are really great. You have the texture issue and the bitterness that is just not a way you want to routinely start your morning with. Eating well can taste so good but this just did not do the trick for me.  I also noticed that both cereals do not re-hydrate or look like the product’s picture on the packaging.  I am hoping I got a bad batch because I really wanted to like this super cereal 😦 and mostly because I love their Teeccino line so much.

If you would like to try TeeChia’s Sustained Cereals, please visit them at:

  • On-line– http://www.teechia.com/
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/teechiacereal
  • Twitter– https://twitter.com/Teeccino

 

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I received the above product free of charge from TeeChia.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

 

BzzAgent: Fiber One Protein Cereal in Cranberry Almond #Review

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I drink Cranberry juice on a daily bases and use the fresh fruit in baked goods even when it’s not the Winter season. Cranberry in dried fruit form is something I enjoy by itself, on salads to even mixing what I call a “snack cup”, with whole raw almonds and even sometimes a few peanut butter chips.

When I saw the second flavor in the box was Cranberry Almond….I felt this mix was made for me. That evening I took 1/2 a cup of yogurt and mixed in some cranberry preserves, so it could sit overnight and have that Cranberry punch I desire. I woke up the next morning and then just added a 1/4 cup of the Fiber One Protein cereal and it was perfect!

Fiber One’s Protein cereals are made with sweetened granola so it goes beyond just the flakes. You get 10 grams of protein in every serving and this is a value with the addition of milk. The Cranberry Almond version has dried cranberries and small almond pieces. You also get 20% of your daily fiber intake.

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Nutritional Facts:
220 calories per one cup serving and it goes up to 260 with skim milk. You have whole grain oats, crisp rice and soy protein isolate to Corn Bran and Puffed Wheat. Lower in sodium than the Maple Sugar version, at 140 mg of Sodium and 16 grams of sugar. I found several undesirable ingredients like Caramel coloring and Corn Syrup listed and below is the link for you to review.

  • Full Nutrition Index Link-

http://www.fiberone.com/products/cereal/fiber-one-protein-cranberry-almond

Cranberry Taste Test:
I did find the Cranberries are not as bountiful and when you catch one, it is very sweet but still good when it comes to moisture. I barely picked up the Almond pieces and chunks in the mix. I did find when I added more of the dried fruit and some whole raw almonds to the cereal, it was then to my satisfaction and again the additions help mellow out the sweetness. Since the cranberries were super sweet as was the cereal, I did not eat this box with milk but with plain yogurt. I even had some with frozen vanilla flavored yogurt in one of our many non-winter days we have been enjoying in California. I thought this mix would be my favorite but because it lacked in quantities of fruit and nuts listed, I tended to be left with a sweet mix that tasted more like brown sugar coated cereal. I also noticed as I reached the bottom of the box, the cereal was finer and more crushed, so the texture was not as crunchy as the Maple Brown Sugar variety……almost mealy.   I don’t think this is a bad variation but I will just stick to adding cranberries and whole almonds to the Maple Brown Sugar & Pecan version for a bowl that is more to my liking 🙂

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If you would like to visit Fiber One’s Protein Cereals, please visit:

I received the above product free of charge from BzzAgent & Fiber One. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours. #GotItFree

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