Mystery Boxes, Shopping

My Balanced Box Winter 2018

**Disclaimer: even though 2018 is a No Spend year for me, I have made a few pre-set exemptions. One of these exemptions is My Balanced Box. Also, this box was paid for in December, before my No Spend Year began**

My Balanced Box (affiliate link) is a quarterly Canadian fitness subscription box. Each season they send out boxes containing full-sized, premium items. These will range from beauty, health and lifestyle items.

The signature box is $59, or they also offer some city-specific boxes for $64. The cities that are currently being offered are Calgary, Edmonton (where the box is based out of), Saskatoon, Toronto and Vancouver. All boxes contain the same items, but the city boxes also include offerings for local businesses and fitness passes.

All boxes ship free within Canada, or $10 to the US.

The first look is usually pretty standard, you can’t really see much of anything thanks to the crinkle paper. I was excited to dig in though, and see what they all included!

Whistle App Gym Tote Bag – Whistle is an app that allows you to find a fitness buddy. Someone to run with or go to the gym with, etc. You can select the type of activity you enjoy, so you don’t have to worry about wanting to go for a run, but only finding people who want to do yoga, and you can select the time of day you prefer a workout. You can then search through people and swipe left or right on them. Basically, it’s Tinder for a fitness partner. It’s definitely an intriguing idea, though I’m not sure how comfortable I feel with meeting up with random people for a workout. I also generally prefer to workout a lot. This is great for people who need added motivation though and who want to meet new like-minded friends. This bag is a good way to advertise their app. I already have a gym bag that I use (and won’t be switching) but these can be handy when camping to keep dirty clothes separate.

BKIND Citrus Hand Balm – This hand balm is made with shea butter, coconut oil and apricot oil. The combination moisturizes, soothes and promotes tissue healing. It delays skin ageing and is non-greasy. It will also help boost your collagen production. I thought I would like the scent more than I do, but it’s a combination of citrus and rosemary, and I think the rosemary turns me off a bit. That being said, my hands are SO dry right now, and I’ll take any product that can help with that. This winter seems to be worse than others!

Tigernut Raw Snack – I have never heard of Tigernuts before. They have a mechanical peeling process that removes the outer coating and leaves the inner lining that is full of vitamins and nutrients. Tigernuts have been used for centuries in Africa, and the ancient Egyptians even used it. I’m definitely curious to give it a try! It’s another one of those snacks that cover basically every main diet with it being paleo, nut & gluten-free and vegan.

CanPrev Magnesium – It looks like this is a newer product for this company. It’s also in powder form to add to your water. I’m not going to get too into it because you can read all the information on the website if you would like. The electric lime flavour definitely sounds like something I will enjoy. This item is good for preventing a deficiency and maintaining proper muscle function. One sample isn’t really enough to know if it makes a difference, but I’m definitely thinking more about magnesium now. They do recommend checking with a doctor before taking it.

Rawcology Matcha Latte – These are coconut flakes coated with matcha powder. Matcha is a concentrated green tea with 14 times more antioxidants than regular green tea. It helps provide increased energy without the side effects that you can get from other stimulants. I love the scent of coconut, but I don’t love the texture or flavour. Matcha also isn’t my jam, so this item was kind of a miss for me.

Solo Energy Bar Lemon Lift – This bar has white yoghurt mixed with citrus and a hint of cranberry flavour. We actually got this bar in the first box I received from them, but soon after there was a recall put out on them and I never got to try it. Hopefully, this is part of a different batch. It has a lower GI than a lot of other bars, which means that the sugar doesn’t hit you all at once and it will keep you going for longer. I can see this being good pre-run so I might save it for my 5k at the end of May. I can’t generally eat bars because most have oats, and oats give me stomach issues. It looks like this one doesn’t, so I should be okay with it!

TriPow Spirulina & Chlorella – If you’re anything like me, you’re probably like ‘uh, what?’ right about now. I’m not going to get too into it because there is A LOT of information on their website. You can click the product link if you want the full details. In short, it’s a blend of two different algae. It’s vegan-friendly, gluten-free and dairy-free. It seems like it can be used in smoothies and a variety of other recipes. There are a number of different ideas listed on their website. 1-2 tsp is the recommended amount per day, so I would probably try this in a smoothie. I think I definitely need it in a form that I can pretend I’m not drinking algae at the moment! It definitely has a lot of benefits though.

Pink Ice Energy – This is kind of interesting. These are crystals, and from the description on their website, it sounds as though they pop just like Pop Rocks! They deliver fast energy, fresh breath, are low calorie and shouldn’t give you an upset stomach. It contains vitamins C, D, E and B complex and minerals. I am definitely intrigued by this. The Raspberry Mint flavour definitely sounds good. There are two servings in this packet, which is good and it’s also made specifically for women. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m far more likely to try something like this than an energy drink. I’m going to save it for when I really need it, but I look forward to seeing the benefits.

Stink Bomb Laundry Detergent – This pack naturally destroys foul odours and smells. The zinc traps and neutralizes odour without any perfumes or alcohols etc. I can see this being a good product for anyone who is bothered by scents (good or bad). Thankfully, we really don’t have an issue with bad odours on our clothing or with having scented products. I’m a huge fan of Gain, and that likely won’t change. I’ll likely put this into my laundry stash and use it if we ever have a really bad load of laundry.

Natural Calm Magnesium Powder – This is a 5-pack flavour sampler with Original, Raspberry-Lemon, Sweet Lemon, Orange and Cherry. The idea is that magnesium helps activate melatonin, which helps you sleep. I haven’t actually tried it yet, but I believe these are powder packets that you mix with water. It also promotes heart health, reduces symptoms of stress, provides relief from pain and it’s vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and non-GMO. I usually sleep pretty decently, but I can see this being handy for people who travel quite a bit or who switch between different time zones. I’ll likely hold onto this for a day that I’m just not feeling tired.

Oneka Shampoo & Conditioner – This cedar & sage shampoo and conditioner is scented after the Boreal forest. Cedar is known for antibacterial properties and the sage helps to balance sebum production. I appreciate that they sent both shampoo & conditioner, I’ve had companies send one or the other before. This is the type of size I love to take with me on trips. I’m hoping to have a few fun trips coming up in the summer, I’ll definitely be taking these with me.

Davids Natural Toothpaste – This all-natural toothpaste safely & effectively whitens, fights plaque and freshens your breath. There is a lot of information for this toothpaste, so I’m just going to tell you to look at the website if you are more curious about this product. There is way too much to list! The short of it is that there is nothing unnatural in this toothpaste and the company is very environmentally focused. I’ll definitely give the toothpaste a try, but I’ve heard some not-so-great things about natural toothpaste. We are working our way through a different tube already so we will try this next. When I was putting away all of these items I realized that there was something else in the toothpaste box. It’s a metal thingamajig that you put on the end of your toothpaste. It then allows you to easily roll the tube and get the most out of your tube. Genius.

CHARGED Jasper & Gold Bracelet – Fossil Jasper is said to be useful in healing. It gives you a feeling of serenity & wholeness and offers clarity and light through difficult situations. This bracelet is 18k gold plated with 8 mm genuine fossil jasper semi-precious stones. This bracelet was ‘charged’ in the middle of a high-energy vortex. I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure what that means. You can check out their website if you want more information. I’m really not into the whole idea of stones giving off energy or any of that, but this does make for a great, neutral, bracelet. I wore it to work the day after I got it!

Guru Organic Energy Drink – This drink is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan and organic. I can’t seem to find any flavour information. They do have some energy water in flavours like lime, grapefruit etc that look interesting. I actually couldn’t tell you the last time I had an energy drink. I find that I don’t usually need them, which I suppose is a good thing! Ian drinks them on road trips though, so I’ll likely save this for him. These do use 20-35% less sugar than regular energy drinks, which is definitely a good thing!

Tydax Exercise Band – This is a 15-35lb resistance band and can be used for rehabilitation or strength training. I haven’t heard of this company before, but they have a whole slew of workout equipment. This band will be handy to have for at-home workouts.

NUD Cacao Banana Crisps – Unfortunately, their website seems to be under construction so I don’t have a ton of information about this brand or item. The packaging tells me that it is vegan, gluten-free, paleo and organic. This covers a lot of common diets that people follow nowadays, and I do like bananas.

The items seen above were included in the signature and city-specific boxes. The below items were special for the Saskatoon box.

Rise Strength Lab – This card is good for three group classes and 3 gym drop-ins. I like that they give enough variety that you can get a good feel for the gym. I’m happy with the gym that I’m at and I don’t see myself changing, especially since their class times really don’t line up with my schedule.

Field Medic Life Soap – It’s fun to find out about a new (to me) company through this box. This bar is great for shower or hand washing and is made with only 5 ingredients. It’s lightly scented with lime essential oils. I will say, the scent is a refreshing change of pace. So often soaps will be floral scented, being more of a citrus girl, I’m happy with the lime scent.

Final Thoughts

I’ve had one consistent thought with all the boxes I have gotten through them, the Saskatoon aspect has been disappointing. I paid extra (compared to the signature box) for a gym card that I won’t use and soap. Then you look at the Edmonton box, and they had 7 additional items. I can’t fully blame My Balanced Box for this, Saskatoon just isn’t really a hot spot for health & fitness related businesses. We just don’t have the same boutique fitness classes that other cities do.

I did enjoy going through the other items. The bracelet and thingamajig that came with the toothpaste were my favourite parts of this box. I do wish that there were less food/consumable items and more other products.

I have temporarily cancelled my subscription. Since I’m doing a No Spend Year I am being much more critical of where my money goes, even with my pre-set exemptions. I do see myself getting this box, but I’m going to wait and decide whether I want to go with the signature box or the Saskatoon box.

I do want to add, I do still really like this box and I think there is so much potential here. I’m just not sure if I’m the right person to be receiving it anymore. I was a bit disappointed that there were so many items that targeted your energy levels, though I suppose those are often lower during the winter season! I think I just expected something different from a January fitness box.

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