I love January. I don't know where it went this year (well... partly it went to a holiday, which means that I've been seriously behind on my blogging!), but I love the fact that it's 'resolution' time for most people which means there are so many new health and fitness goodies on the market, and I'm a sucker for a shiny new plaything, especially when it's healthy-lifestyle or fitness related.
Cue my latest temptation in the health and fitness world that mixes a bit of both and took advantage of January to launch in a big way: sample box subscriptions. Glossybox or Birchbox, which are beauty / cosmetics sample box subscriptions, have been around for a while, so it's not an entirely new concept. They let you to try a few sample sizes of great, premium products for a small cost--usually lower than what one full-size version of one of the products would cost--so you get to try all sorts of fun stuff without wasting lots of money or having loads of makeup and lotions you don't like sitting around in your bathroom. The new health boxes follow the same principle but with the added benefit of tie-in web sites with fitness tips, recipes, workouts and more.
First up I heard about the Healthy Body Kit. I was seriously excited to get my box (yay mail that isn't bills!) and tore it open right away.
Here's what was inside the Healthy Body Kit
Healthspan Elite Performance Greens
This was a sample pouch to mix with water, giving you an easy way to get extra vitamins and nutrients. While the idea and the on-the-go sized serving is a great concept, being completely honest, I thought it tasted pretty gross. I've tried other things like this before and much prefer Lean Greens which doesn't have the fake lime flavouring that Healthspan does.
Buff Bake Peanut Butter
Another sample pouch that's designed as a post-workout protein snack. This one I liked a lot more though it did have a slight taste that protein supplements can sometimes have, overall the peanut butter was pretty tasty and very filling!
Chia Co Chia Shot
Sample pouch number three! These little guys are great -- super portable, single serving so you can add it to anything. Top cereal, smoothies, lunch salads, etc. I've actually bought these before so getting one 'free' in my sample box was exciting and I mixed it in a post-run smoothie.
Love Your Blender Super Berry
I've had the pleasure of trying Love Your Blender product before and this sample was actually a full-size sachet of their smoothie mix.
This was tasty and I combined it with almond milk, cinnamon, lacuma and banana for extra deliciousness.
Terre Verdi FranChouliPom facial serum
To me, this was the wow-factor in the box. Not just a sample size but a full size product of a facial serum. First impression was that it smells lovely. I wasn't sure about it as I already use a serum that I Lidl, but this one is a bit heavier than that one (designed for older/dryer skin) and it's been particularly good for winter dry skin.
On top of the products in the box, Healthy Body Kit's web site has discounts on the product, Healthy recipes, and a 30-day Fitness Plan (I thought this last bit has some good suggestions but could have been improved with the addition of photos, illustrations or videos showing the moves) which are all great value-adds, but the real hero is the box and the samples.
Next was Fitty London, and again, when I got that huge, heavy box delivered, I had to tear into it at my desk at work!
Here's what was inside the Fitty London box
Pip & Nut Almond and Coconut Butter
Full-size jar of Pip & Nut! TOTAL SCORE! I'm addicted to this. The coconut adds a little bit of exoticness to the almond butter and I put it on everything from bananas to pittas to toast. And sometimes just a spoon ;)
Wyldsson’s Barberries & Green Raisins
Very tasty, a little bit ‘bit-ty’ so hard to eat but would be a great topping or addition, or perfect tube for a hike or on-the-go snack.
Neat Nutrition Whey Protein
These single-serve samples were a handy size, but unfortunately not available on the web site from Neat to buy individually. The pack came with a shaker (fun!). The chocolate flavour was very tasty and didn’t have that ‘protein-y’ flavour, but the berry had a weird smell in the packet and I found overly sweet.
Organic Golden Turmeric Powder
There's so much news (hype?) about turmeric at the moment, I've already got some in my cupboard for various uses so this was a nice addition. The web site had a golden mylk recipe, too, and it inspired me to check out even more ways to use turmeric, so this was a win.
I’d seen canned water here and there and wondered ‘why’. I still do. If it’s the only option, the taste was fine but I didn’t find it significantly different to bottled water. I’d also be worried about the security of the resealable tab. A good feature but I’m not sure it’s as firm as a screw-on lid.
I LOVE biltong. There’s a little shop near my house that sells it and if I happen to go by there on the way home and haven’t had dinner, I often get tempted, so finding this little surprise in my box was exciting! This biltong had a lovely flavour although was a bit dry, but I'd definitely buy it again.
These were probably my favourite part of the box (after the Pip & Nut) because they're not just a sample that I'll use up AND they're a great little piece of kit! Resistance bands are so versatile, I actually popped the heavier resistance one in my suitcase for our holiday since it takes up so little space.
The web site for Fitty London is a bit more snazzy but as they're still in launch phase, the video to go along with the bands hasn't been posted yet (or any other instructional videos or workouts) which would be great to have. There are some good blog posts with recipes and info about fitness trends, gyms, and restaurants, but also mention of interviews with celebs, which don't seem to be available yet.
What's the low-down between the two? Here's the nitty gritty if you're looking to get your hands on either one
Final verdict? Both are great, from the idea to the products they include and, although this first box from Healthy Body Kit came out on top for value, I have a feeling that once Fitty London are fully launched, their content (both web site and box) will definitely rival the HBK. I also thought that the Fitty London box just felt a bit more premium, with more products and the inclusion of the fitness kit, and I think this would be a great option for a gift, whereas Healthy Body Kit is more of something to try yourself.
If you're looking for ways to be healthier or to try new healthy options without spending money on the full-sized things before checking them out, I'd definitely recommend hooking yourself up with one of these!
What would you want to see a sample of in your health & fitness box? Have you tried any other sample boxes?
Disclaimer: Occasionally I am offered samples for review, like these boxes from Fitty London and Healthy Body Kit. The opinions expressed in the reviews of these products are my unbiased opinion and are not affected by or paid for by the companies mentioned.