Friday, July 18, 2014

Bulu Box Review - July 2014

Yesterday my second Bulu Box Weight Loss arrived in the mail! For the curious:

What: Bulu Box is a health, wellness, and (optional) weight loss subscription containing 4-5 premium samples. Two box curations: Regular and Weight Loss. This review is for the Weight Loss box.
When: Ships monthly on the 15th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping)
Extra tidbits: Earn points for purchasing Bulu Boxes/items in the shop, reviewing box items, and referring friends. Every 10 points counts as $1 credit in the Bulu Box shop

*I normally don't like to mess with my body's natural processes and don't regularly take any supplements (aside from the occasional Vitamin C). I prefer to improve my health by natural means such as change in diet/exercise/sleep, but in the interest of expanding my current perceptions of supplements, I will try to keep an open mind when forming opinions on these products.*

When I first opened the box I was a bit let down because everything was so...flat. And packet-y.

Oh well. On the bright side, I was able to give the contents a little dimension:

Let's see what these packets have to offer, shall we?

July 2014 info card (click to enlarge)

Helps Make It Easy Constipation Relief Organic Tea (2 sachets Sample Value: $0.55) - This is a dietary supplement in the form of herbal tea to help with constipation. Lemon, mint, and anise work together to relax the digestive system while senna acts as a laxative. I love tea but I'll save this for someone who can actually use it for its intended purpose.

Rutaesomn Sleep Aid (1 capsule Sample Value: $0.75) - I do have trouble sleeping but never considered taking a sleep aid because of the risk of it being habit-forming, and really I just didn't want to pay for something I didn't have to. Instead I nixed naps and spent time in the sun so I'd be drained by the time night rolls around. This pill contains rutaecarpine from the Evodia fruit, which expedites caffeine removal from your body to help you sleep. I don't drink coffee, but I do drink soda (I know, bad) and tea. I will have to try this and report back.

FitMiss Burn (2 capsules Sample Value: $0.85) - I've seen pretty high ratings for this on exercise websites, and while I would never go out and buy a bottle for myself, it was nice to get a sample in my box. This 6-step system curbs appetite, reduces water retention, and increases energy to result in rapid weight loss (breakdown of the 6-step system here). From reviews I read, the most obvious is its diuretic effect. Not sure how healthy that is. I've become obsessed with hydration while exercising ever since experiencing those dreaded dehydration headaches on my long runs. I'm not sure if one sample will make any noticeable difference, but I'll give it a shot. This is my first workout supplement ever, which is saying a lot because I (surprise!) actually work out fairly often and don't take anything (not even protein or gels).

...Whoa, there must be cayenne pepper in here or something, even though it's not written on the ingredient list...I just burped (sorry TMI) and got a rush of something burning when I exhaled. Well, a cayenne pepper metabolism boost would explain the weight loss claim.

Update 7/19/14: The most caffeine I take in is whatever's in a cup of black tea. Or soda. But definitely not coffee. So after taking FitMiss Burn I was jittery the entire afternoon. I didn't have my usual 2pm crash (hello, caffeine!). At the gym I definitely noticed an increase in stamina during running, but I felt absolutely horrible during lifting. I felt incredibly weak and unstable (maybe because I was still jittery?). Of course, it could just mean the FitMiss was wearing off or just total coincidence, but I don't think I'll be taking workout supplements any time soon. I'll stick to my carbs, thank you. 

Toniiq Premium Hangover Prevention (1 packet Sample Value: $4.00) - Anyone love a good drink or ten before going to bed? This hangover prevention system consists of three pills - you take two black pills before going to bed and one white one in the morning. How nice that it's color-coordinated for the inebriated (whoo, I can freestyle!). I probably won't be using this since my partying days are over. We live too far from our friends to make the trek just to hang out at a bar. And I'm sure it's just a formality, but I found it amusing that the warning says "If you are pregnant, breastfeeding......consult a physician before taking Toniiq." I would like to see which physician would approve of a pregnant or nursing mother getting drunk enough for a hangover.  Besides, I've found that if I do drink enough to get tipsy, two full glasses of water and two Advil does the trick. I haven't tried this remedy with puking-out-your-brains kind of drunk, though.

Update 7/23/14: Alright, so I decided to revisit my younger days and went out to happy hour with my friends since I was already in town and wouldn't have to fight 2 hours in traffic to meet them. By the time I left I had a nasty headache (for which, I must add, my wonderful fiance extended his normal cycling ride by 30 miles to meet me so he could drive me home, and that's why I love him). Since it was a weeknight and I had to get up at 4:30 the next morning, I put my faith in Toniiq. I ditched my normal Advil remedy and instead took two black pills and went to sleep feeling like shit. Four hours later I woke up COMPLETELY RECOVERED! I took the white pill only because the instructions said to, but I honestly felt 100% better. Whatever that lingzhi powder is, it worked. I was so sure I wasn't going to use the Toniiq that I didn't even do any research on it, and then by the time I reached for it I was way too tipsy to take in any useful information anyway. I guess I'll go do some research on it now that I'm clear-headed, but so far I think this stuff works wonders.

BSN Syntha-6 Isolate - Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor (1.3oz Sample Value: $1.60) - I'm no protein fanatic, but it feels like there's lot of powder in here for just one serving (btw, one serving of this contains 25g protein). This is a whey and casein protein matrix that comes in 12 flavors. Wow! Based on the reviews I've read this brand does a good job in the flavor department. I'm not a regular protein user, but I'll try this and see how much it aids in muscle recovery.

Update 7/19/14: No joke, this protein is seriously yummy. I only had one sample so I can't speak on behalf of its muscle repair/building effects, but I do know my muscles still hurt the same. And guys, please don't make a girl walk upstairs after leg day unless you want feet sweat in your dinner.

Yoga Journal Morning Noon & Night DVD Sampler - This was a bonus item in the box. It's a 20 minute yoga video to spice up your morning routine and give you clarity for the rest of the day. All of my friends who do yoga swear by its added energy benefits and incredible core strengthening exercises. I did want to learn yoga because everyone who's met me knows I could use a morning pick-me-up, but I've never gotten around to actually signing up for a class or buying a DVD. Now that one found its way into my box I'm one step closer to finally yoga-ing it! Now I just have to drag my butt out of bed earlier. As it is I wake up pretty early to go to work (is 4:30 a.m. early?)...waking up at 4:00 will be tough. Realistically speaking though, I probably won't end up using this particular DVD.

Promo cards - In addition to my flat samples were flat promo cards. These included:
  -$10 off coupon at Cory Vines (activewear). Use code BULU10
  -a free 2 month trial to (cardio, strength training, pilates, yoga, dance, prenatal)
  -a free 2 week trial to (strength training, pilates, yoga, dance, prenatal)

I calculated a $7.75 value for this box (I typically don't consider promo codes as adding value. Also, since the DVD was a bonus item I don't feel it should count toward the value of the box). Considering this box normally costs $10, I don't think this was a very good valued box. I snagged a promo to get a 3-month subscription at dirt cheap, but I still don't feel like I got my money's worth out of it. I can only see myself using the sleep aid, FitMiss, and the protein, which make up less than half the box's value. I think I speak for the majority of people when I say I don't particularly enjoy receiving foil packets in sub boxes. I understand that it's a sampler box, but I also feel that you need more than just one serving to really form an opinion about a product. So this month is meh for me.

Did you receive a Bulu Box? What did you think of the 2D-ness of the curation? If you're curious about what kind of supplements are out there and would like to subscribe to Bulu Box, use my link to discover health products that you never knew existed. Who knows, you might find something you love!

Note: Post contains referral links.

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