Mindfulness Box Subscription Box Unboxing and Review-May 2015

Mindfulness Box is a recently launched subscription service aimed at providing simple reminders and inspiring new, conscientious goods sure to encourage living more deeply in the moment. This lifestyle box includes holistic and homeopathic, essential oil, and mineral based health care products, handcrafted jewelry, delicious biodynamic treats, natural minerals/crystals and more. Each box contains 4-5 items accompanied with guided dialog to enrich the recipient’s journey to balance and inner peace. Boxes cost $29 per month, which includes shipping, and are less with multi-month subscriptions. Currently Mindfulness Box is offering a promotion for 15% off and a free gift with the code MOTHER. Orders must be placed by May 3rd for delivery in time for Mother’s Day. I recently took advantage of the code, which took 15% off my entire multi-month subscription, bringing my individual box price down to $23.23.

In honor of the May box’s Mother’s Day vibe my children joined me for the complete video unboxing shown here. It made me a little less mindful (and thus more prone to minor mistakes, such as repeatedly misidentifying the free gift) but it was livelier and fun, which is part of being a mom too. If you want to skip right to the product close-ups and details, scroll down past the video. To see all of my Mindfulness Box unboxings and reviews, look here.

I should start with my first impression, and that was that the box was packaged with extreme care. Not only was the presentation happy with the smiling Mindfulness Box logo image, but the items were each individually wrapped with a card explaining their use and connecting them to mindfulness and creating calm moments and positive energy as part of a healthy life practice. I will say that I would have preferred the individual baggies being something more Earth-friendly than plastic since there were a lot of them, but the overall care and sentiment were appreciated.

Mindfulness Box Welcome notes

I found that the personal, handwritten note conveyed the care and intention of the individual packaging the box. As I mentioned in the video, I genuinely appreciated seeing my name spelled correctly on the front of the card. That is extremely rare for me and was a level of detail that I noticed. The enclosure card for the overall box reiterated the message encouraging the recipient to carve out moments for personal meditation and reflection, linking the practice to one of the enclosed items.

Mindfulness Box tea and wood

The box included a stick of Palo Santo (approximate value $0.75), which the enclosure card explained is a 100% sustainable and natural wood that grows on the coast of South America. Moreover, this particular stick was wild crafted and sustainably harvested by a family who has planted over 30,000 trees back into their area. The card suggested many ways to use the wood from brewing it as a tea to burning it and using it similarly to a smudge stick to clear areas. I burned a portion of it while working on this post, and Rich was so struck by the unique scent when he entered the room that he closed his eyes and took a deep blissful breath, which alone may have been worth the price of the box. I don’t know the exact source of Mindfulness Box’s Palo Santo, but I based the value on these ones of similar description that I found on Amazon, right before I ordered more.

In addition, as part of my free gift for using the MOTHER code when ordering, the box included two bags of Yogi Tea “Relaxed Mind” (value $0.50).

Mindfulness Box chocolates and crystals

Another part of my free gift, was a precious bar of ZenBunni chocolate in “Lost Salt of Atlantis” (value $2.00). The box also included two additional bars in “Original Topanga” and “Kathmandu Chai” (value $5.00 total). These bars of artisanal chocolates are very tiny (approximately 1 inch by 2 inches) and are clearly meant to be savored and appreciated. The bars are free of gluten, dairy, soy, and refined sugars and are made from certified biodynamic, organic, and wild foraged ingredients. I was familiar with biodynamic farming practices because biodynamic farming and Waldorf education, which my children all attended for some period of time, were both founded by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. We had also been members of a biodynamic CSA farm for six years. For those who are unfamiliar with biodynamic growing practices, ZenBunni offers this explanation.

The box also included two small stones, one of which was packaged with my free gift of teas and chocolate (value unknown).

Mindfulness Box EO

Aura Cacia essential oil in Chill Pill (value $10.99) is a blend of sweet orange, lavender, patchouli, peppermint, sweet basil, and Roman chamomile essential oils meant to aid with relaxation. Midnfulness Box also included an enclosure from Aura Cacia with information about how much of the essential oil to use in a number of suggested applications.

Mindfulness Box necklace

This Lael Sunrise Jewelry handmade, faceted, rose quartz necklace is the item that I kept mistakenly referring to as the free gift in the video. It is not the free gift, this lovely item was included in every box and was packaged in a small jewelry box, perfect for gifting. The handcrafted necklace on a 14-karat gold-filled chain is meant to resonate with the heart chakra. I think that it looks delicate and beautiful on, and I have been enjoying wearing it. This item can be purchased directly from Mindfulness Box (value $32.00).

Mindfulness Box cards

Mindfulness Box also included this set of five notecards and envelopes. The notecards feature quotes from Zen Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh (value $12.00). I look forward to using them as gift enclosures, “just because” notes for friends, or as an extension of journaling as suggested by Mindfulness Box. These cards are seemingly another Mindfulness Box exclusive.

Mindfulness Box complete

Overall, I was very pleased with my first Mindfulness Box. At first glance, I wasn’t sure how the value would stack up against the purchase price, but my best estimates would place the value of the box at around $60.74, which does not include my free gift with purchase or the small stone whose value I could not estimate. My absolute favorite discovery in the box is the Palo Santo stick, despite being a low value item in terms of cost. Moreover, I am incredibly impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of the items included in the box, and the overall curation. I think that Mindfulness Box remains very true to their stated mission and demographic, and will be especially appreciated by a like-minded consumer. I am excited to receive my next box to see how this subscription continues to evolve.

If you would like to see my most recent listing of “crunchy-friendly” subscription boxes, you can find that here. To see other crunchy subscription box video unboxings, look here on the Crunchy Parent You Tube channel. If you have any suggestions or requests for future videos, please let me know in the comments, and be sure to subscribe!

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Barganic Alert: It’s a Great Time to Stock up on Gluten Free and Other Food Allergy-Friendly Foods

A tip for anyone who buys gluten free foods and lives in or around most any large metropolitan area. The Passover holiday is upon us and this (mostly) grain free holiday, with all of its associated specialty foods can be a real boon for people who adhere to, or dabble in, a gluten free diet. That said, some products will be made with specially prepared wheat flour suitable for the holiday, so still be sure to check labels to ensure that the product is really free from grains.

We’ve been stocking up on gluten free matzoh style squares and crackers that we eat throughout the year, and that we find taste better than many other gluten free cracker options. Potato starch is another gluten free pantry staple in that we grab around Passover, as is gluten free matzo meal or gluten free panko crumbs, both of which make great breadcrumb substitutes. The traditional coconut macaroon cookies that abound in every flavor under the sun are a good GF cookie option, and gluten free Passover cakes, cookies, baking mixes, and more can be found on the shelves at any store with a respectable Passover section for the holiday.

In addition, because kosher dietary laws prohibit the mixing of milk and meat, many Passover foods are also marked as “pareve” meaning that they are free from any dairy or meat ingredients. Foods not marked pareve may also be free from dairy, but the pareve on the label is a sure-fire way to know that the product is dairy free too. Lastly, because corn is a grain and therefore prohibited during the holiday, many foods that often otherwise contain corn syrup or other corn-based ingredients are available in corn-free versions especially for the holiday; great news for those with allergies to corn. As an additional bonus, among the many well-known and established brands making Passover foods, the Manischewitz brand distinguished themselves this past January by becoming the first major Kosher company to have a line of Non-GMO Project Verified products. Although their Non-GMO line does not include their gluten-free products, I hope that it will in the future.

The Passover holiday started this past Friday and runs through sundown Friday of this week (or Saturday depending on who you’re talking to). That means that many grocers are currently running holiday sales now and may be clearing items out with additional sales ahead. Don’t wait too long though, this grain-free holiday comes but once a year.

Make sure that you don’t miss out on any Barganic Alerts, these babies tend to be time-limited. Subscribe to Crunchyparent.com to always be the first to know!

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Chicken Fingers: Gluten Free and Casein Free Super Delicious Recipe

(but the vegetarians and vegans should sit this one out)

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I consider it somewhat of a small miracle when I can find a recipe that everyone in the family will eat and enjoy every single time that I make it without any groans or complaints. This recipe is one of those winners for us. It even elicits a “Yea!” or “Yum!” from all three kids when it’s the answer to the “What’s for dinner?” question. It’s no big surprise given that chicken fingers or nuggets seem to be fairly universal kid favorites, at least in this country.

I love this recipe even more because it is both gluten and casein free and can easily be adapted to be egg-free if the crowd requires. I’ve made this and served it at birthday parties to parents and kids of the food-allergy and non-food allergy persuasion and received rave reviews from all.

The recipe below will feed all five of us with some leftovers for a kid lunch or two the next day. You can scale back or increase as you need.

Ingredients

3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or nuggets

Coating:
3 C. gluten free crunchy or crispy brown rice cereal (Enjoy Life brand is our favorite for this)
1/4 C. 3…2…1…Flour Mix! or other gluten free flour mix
2 t. All-Seasons Salt (Simply Organics is our favorite for this)
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. garlic powder

Egg Wash:
1 egg or favorite egg substitute
1/4 c. water

Oil for frying (you’ll want to choose your favorite high-heat oil for this. I recommend grapeseed oil or avocado oil).

Directions:

1. Measure all coating ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well combined and cereal has been coarsely chopped. If you process the cereal too finely, the coating will lack crunch. Transfer this mixture onto a large plate.

2. Combine egg and water in a shallow dish or bowl, mixing well.

3. Set up your chicken strip assembly line as shown.

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(I don’t know why more people don’t put pictures of raw chicken up on the internet. Super awesome looking!)

4. Dip each strip in the egg wash to fully cover.

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5. Coat both sides in the coating mix.

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(can you find the chicken strip hiding in the coating mixture?)

I find that the easiest way to do steps 4 and 5 is either using a fork (less messy) or with my hands (faster). In any case, use a different utensil (distinct fork or hand) for either step to avoid massive egg/coating buildup.

6. Place coated chicken onto a foil-lined cookie sheet as you continue to coat the remaining pieces.

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7. Pour oil in pan to about 1/8” depth and heat over a low/medium flame. I use a 10″ or 12” cast iron pan for this. Toss a crumb of the coating mixture into the oil. If it begins to brown and bubble, your oil is ready. Carefully add your chicken strips to the pan and cook until browned (3-4 minutes).

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8. Flip and cook until browned on the other side and cooked through. If your flame is too high, the outer coating will burn before your chicken is cooked, so adjust temperature as needed.

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9. Remove from pan and let cool slightly on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil.

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10. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces and sides. We love a creamy honey mustard sauce for dipping, and enjoyed this with watermelon and a marinated cucumber salad tonight.

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Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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3…2…1…Gluten Free Flour Mix Recipe

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I tend to cook and bake a lot. They are among my favorite creative outlets, I think perhaps because the gratification of the end result is relatively quick, and because I like to eat. Once we became aware of Eva’s (and subsequently our other children’s and our own) food allergies and sensitivities it was all the more helpful to know how to make food that we could all enjoy and that tastes delish so that we didn’t feel like we were missing out.

One of the first things that I looked for was a good, solid, reliable flour substitute because it’s a complete staple in gluten free baking. There weren’t as many commercially-produced, gluten free, flour mixes available at that time, eight or so years ago, and prepared mixes tend to be costly. Store-bought GF mixes are great in a pinch or for those who don’t do much gluten free baking, but for our everyday baking needs I wanted something that I could whip up myself to have on hand, and I didn’t want too many hard-to-find ingredients. I trialed a lot of different flour combinations and settled on one based on rice flours and basic starches. I personally did not care for blends that used bean flours, as I didn’t like the flavor that they lent to my baked goods. I initially found this recipe on Food.com and have made some minor changes and notes to save cost and yield the best end result for your needs.

The proportions in this have always reminded me of a recipe shared by Dolly Parton’s character, Truvy, in Steel Magnolias, which is one of those movies that I can sit down and watch any and every time that it is on. At one point in the film Truvy is sharing her simple recipe for a dessert she calls, Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa (“It’s just a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of fruit cocktail with the syrup, stir and bake in a hot oven ‘til golden brown and bubbly.  I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness.”).

We use this flour mix absolutely all of the time and I’ll reference it a lot in my recipes, so it seemed important to share. Drumroll please……….

3…2…1…Flour Mix

3 Cups brown rice flour
3 Cups white rice flour
2 Cups potato starch
1 Cup tapioca starch
3 Tablespoons guar gum or xanthan gum

Stir it all together and store in an airtight container. Use in equal amounts as a substitute for all-purpose flour in any recipe.

And now for the important notes and tips and such….sometimes brown rice flour can be gritty and this will not yield the best results. Look for a brand whose flour you can see before buying to ensure that it is ground into a fine, uniform powder. I have had good luck with both Arrowhead Mills and Bob’s Red Mill, but I am sure that there are other good brands.

As for the white rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch, I have found that these can be purchased relatively inexpensively at most Asian markets or grocery stores with good-sized international foods sections. These same products can be found at the health food grocery or specialty store catering to individuals with food allergies, but they will be far more expensive if you go this way. Of course, you are unlikely to find organic versions when going the international route, so it is up to you to determine what is the best choice for you.

For the thickening agent, I use either xanthan gum or guar gum interchangeably depending on what I have around. If you are baking for someone who is especially sensitive to corn, soy, or wheat, you may wish to avoid xanthan gum because it is grown on a host substance that is usually either corn, soy, or wheat. Sometimes the package will specify on what it was grown, but often it will not. Guar gum is derived from the guar bean and may be tolerated more easily by those who find that they are sensitive to xanthan gum. As with the flour and starches, it will be more expensive to source these through brands targeting food allergy markets. You can generally find xanthan gum and guar gum more affordably if you purchase them as supplements from brands such as NOW.

Enjoy, and if you have a flour mix (store bought or homemade) that you swear by, please share in the comments.

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Crunchy-friendly Subscription Boxes

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As I mentioned briefly in ‎this post I have been making conscious attempts to make self-care a higher priority in the last several years. Parenting can be all-consuming, at least it has been for me many times, and I tended to seriously neglect myself. My cancer diagnosis was a wake up call that I absolutely needed to take better care of myself mentally and physically if I wanted to be able to continue to be a good parent to my children. I also wanted to feel better about myself and how I presented myself to the world. Realistically, I still was not going to have oodles of “me” time, and being able to get away from home to do things alone is even more challenging.

Moreover, skin, haircare, and cosmetic, and body care products simply had to be no- or low-toxin for me to use them. I would rather go without than slather myself with ingredients that might make it harder to stay healthy, but I really didn’t know where to begin. My skincare products had distilled down to aloe gel, shea butter, and coconut oil and they just weren’t cutting it. So, I decided that one aspect of my self-care plan would be to join some monthly subscription services. Just in case you’re unfamiliar, subscription services send out a “mystery” package (usually monthly) of products in sample or full sizes for you to try that fit within a certain theme such as eco-freindly beauty and skincare products or gluten free snacks. I figured that by joining a service, I would get a special package (or more) each month just for me with products to encourage me to pamper myself. It would also help me discover new natural, organic, or otherwise eco-friendly products that had already been screened and curated by companies with values like my own. Once I got my boxes, I could have some R&R time with a new face mask after the kids went to bed at night, or if I had an occasion when I might want to wear lipstick, I might actually own one. I have been receiving subscription boxes for about a year now, and I must say that it has been great!

I personally found it overwhelming at first to select a couple of subscriptions to try. There are countless services available, with many different target markets and missions. There are new services being introduced and old ones phasing out all of the time. I thought that I would try to save you some of the trouble that I went through. I have compiled a fairly comprehensive list of subscription services currently available that may appeal to people of the crunchy mindset, wherever they may be along the crunchy continuum or whichever aspect of crunchiness is important to them. I have tried to include beauty and lifestyle boxes that might be organic, or vegan; that might be eco-friendly, GMO-free, or support charities. Food boxes might be gluten, nut, and/or dairy free. They may feature organic or non-GMO products, or provide pre-packaged produce all ready to juice for your next cleanse or to boost a new health practice. I’ve listed herbal boxes, essential oil boxes, fair trade boxes, and eco-friendly boxes for the expecting or new mama. Boxes for children likely feature organic products, high-quality wooden toys, and are battery-free. There is even a toy rental subscription service included. Some of the subscription services are large and well-established. Others are small, limited, indie subscriptions or may be just starting out. In any case, I hope that you will find what you are looking for.

For the sake of brevity I have included shipping information assuming shipping in the United States. Many of these companies may send boxes elsewhere for an additional cost. Please see individual sites for information. I cannot speak to the specifics of any individual subscription, nor am I recommending any of these services over any other. In truth, I have received just a small percentage of these boxes personally, but I wanted to provide a resource. If you have any personal experiences that you wish to share, or if you know of any subscriptions that you think should be added to this list, please mention it in the comments.
***For an updated version of this list, look here***

Beauty/Lifestyle

Bare Bliss Box in every box get 4-6 “healthier” sample-sized skincare and makeup products that will nourish your body and enhance your life, with occasional bonus lifestyle items. BBB screens products for ingredients such as artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, SLS, and other potentially harmful chemicals. They also emphasize products that are cruelty-free and organic. $19.99/month (free shipping) Discounts with multi-month subscriptions.

Blissmo Box $19.95/month plus shipping, free shipping with multi-month subscriptions. Value of $20-$40+ per box. A monthly box of premium organic, non-toxic and eco-friendly personal care and food products. Full & trial-size. Allows choice among three themed box offerings each month (usually a food, beauty/personal care, and seasonal themes). Also allows for skipping a month if none of the themes seem to be a good fit.

BuddhiBox $30.95/month. Less with multi-month subscriptions. Box contains 4-6 full size items to enhance your yoga practice and lifestyle. BuddhiBox is committed to supporting non-profits. Most of the items featured are organic and vegetarian, and a brief questionnaire also allows the purchaser to indicate a preference for vegan items if desired. Each month BuddhiBox picks a charity and donate proceeds from the sale of the boxes to them. They also offer a smaller sampler box for $11.95/month, and a jewelry box for $49.95/quarter.

Causebox Ships quarterly. $49.95 per shipment and includes shipping. You will receive at least $150 worth of full-size products for women from Sevenly’s favorite socially conscious brands. Each box also includes a new, exclusive Sevenly product. For every box sold, Sevenly gives $7 to one of 7 partner charities. Additionally, the box features products from companies that are committed to doing good all over the world. Some give one-for-one, some give meals, some medical aid, others give money to help various causes.

Conscious Box $19.95/month including shipping for the “Plus” version. Lower per month cost for multi-month subscriptions. Also offer a smaller “Taster” box for $9.95/month, less with multi-month subscriptions. Conscious Box features hand-selected food, bath, beauty, and home products, All-Natural and GMO-free. Classic, Vegan, and Gluten-free “themed” boxes are available as subscription options.

Eco Emi $15/month with free shipping. Each monthly box contains 7-8 eco-friendly, all natural, vegetarian, animal conscious, free-trade product samples. Also try to make the packaging as interesting as the product and focus on packaging that is reusable. A box may contain everything from skin, hair, and nail products to nutritious snacks, teas and seeds. Eco Emi recently discontinued their beauty-only box but as of this writing, they continue to offer a variety subscription with products from the above mentioned categories.

Eco Salon This quarterly box is not a subscription, rather a first come, first served seasonal collection of food/nutrition, beauty, accessories, etc. There are generally pretty limited numbers of boxes available (around 50). Price and value varies but generally cost is $100+

Goodebox $19/month, including free shipping. Modest discounts offered for multi-month subscriptions. Goodebox is a trial and discovery service providing expertly curated, trial-sized healthy beauty and personal care products, along with samples of natural & organic health and wellness products.  Each Goodebox includes a pre-screened selection representing what Goodebox thinks are among the best healthy beauty products available.

Hemp Box/Hemp Box for Men $19.99/month includes free shipping. Hemp Box features 5 health, beauty and nutritional products each month that contain hemp.

Herbal Bliss $25/month including free shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions (e.g. an annual subscription drops to $18/month) Herbal Bliss contains an exclusively curated assortment of high quality herbal delights. Five items will be included each month, representing the categories of well-being, culinary, aromatherapy, blissful body, and “spotlight.” All suppliers are small-batch producers.

holBox $30/month. includes shipping. holBox is a subscription service for  women who desire to live a holistic lifestyle. It is intended to serve as a starting point for women transitioning into a holistic lifestyle. Each box contains 5-7 different sample products, and will include products that you can use for the body, hair, mind and in the household.

Klover Box $25/month free shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Klover Box features natural, cruelty-free and organic beauty, health, nutrition and home products. Klover Box aims to provide opportunities to try affordable eco-friendly products, handpicked by their health conscious curators to allow the buyer to incorporate better products into every aspect of life. Each box features 4-7 sample and full sized products.

Level Naturals Three tiers of boxes ranging from The Good Box at $14.95/month to The Good(est) Box at $49.95/month (prices do not include shipping). Level is a vegan, gluten and cruelty free, all natural company. Certified by Peta and Leaping Bunny, 100% made in the USA. All boxes feature selections from Level Natural’s own bath/body products and candle lines.

Organic Authority Goodie Box Organic Authority is a sister company to Eco Salon (see above) with a similar approach. They are not a regular subscription, rather a first come, first served seasonal collection of food/nutrition, beauty, accessories, etc. Numbers are quite limited. Price and value varies but generally cost is $100+

Petit Vour $15/month includes shipping. Petit Vour focuses on cruelty-free products, but tend to feature product lines that are also natural and organic. Petit Vour delivers 4-5 fresh beauty miniatures right to your doorstep each month. The samples are generously sized (and sometimes full-sized!)

Sapphire Soul Balance Box Sapphire Soul offers 5 different box configurations ranging from “Crystal Pack” of 1 or more crystals at a price of $9/month to “Large Lotus Balance Box” at $52/month which features a crystal, essential oil, a piece of handmade crystal healing jewelry, and one or more additional products (soaps, candles, and aromatherapy products tend to be featured frequently). Overall the box highlights holistic products to nurture mind, body, and soul; striving to increase balance and positive energy. Prices do not include shipping.

The Sudsy Box Ships every-other month. $20/shipment which includes shipping free shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box will contain 3 full-sized bars of Sudsy Box own branded soaps as well as one body product such as a lip balm or lotion bar. The soaps that are in Sudsy Box are handcrafted in small batches and do not include artificial fragrances, colors or additives. All of the ingredients are plant based and organic whenever possible. Products are vegetarian friendly, gluten free, and packaging is 100% recycled. Every month, Sudsy Box donates soap to Clean The World. This organization is dedicated to promoting hygiene in under developed regions around the world.

Teens Turning Green Conscious Collection
Not an auto-billing subscription, but a first come, first served single purchase box available in limited quantities, and sometimes comes in both “male” and “female” versions. Cost is $75/box plus $20 shipping. The box includes Approximately 20 deluxe and full size items per collection. Each box highlights thoughtfully curated, ethically-produced products across many lifestyle categories. Product selections are based on health of ingredients, environmental impact, efficacy, and verified standards like USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO, Fair Trade, and data from the Environmental Working Group. Proceeds from the box benefit the Teens Turning Green non-profit organization.

Vegan Cuts $19.95/month included shipping. Modest discount for multi-month subs. Vegan cuts features 100% cruelty-free brands, many of which are also natural and organic. Each box contains 4-7 full and sample-sized products to try, ranging from unique cosmetics to luxurious skincare.

With Love from Angela $24.99/month includes free shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Each month’s box will deliver 4-5 carefully selected, all natural bath and skin care products and presents such as candles or accessories. Boxes will include a combination of WLFA’s own branded products as well as items from other brands that they deem to be terrific. They focus on products that are all natural and 100% quality.

Yogi Surprise
$35.96/month with free shipping. Each box features 6-8 full-size products designed to nourish and support your well being, vitality and growth. Items include pure, natural, and handcrafted goodies that are vegetarian, cruelty, and GMO free.

Yuzen $33/quarter includes shipping. Yuzen strives to include only the very best eco-conscious products to nourish the body and soul. Each beautiful box includes high-quality natural and organic personal care products, healthy snacks, and lifestyle items carefully chosen from about 6 companies.

Food

Cuisine Cube $34.99/month includes shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Each monthly box features at least five exciting full-sized gluten-free breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert items. Cuisine Cube tries to introduce lesser-known artisanal brands. Some products are certified gluten free, others use only gluten-free ingredients but are not certified gluten free. Many products are certified organic and CC strives to avoid GMOs and artificial ingredients.

Emma’s Organics monthly (or bi-weekly) box subscription. You receive 2 large 8oz bags of granola a month $22.95 + $5.00 shipping or 4 large 8 oz bags every other week $44.95 + $10.00 shipping. The granola is 100% organic, non GMO, gluten free and dairy free. PLUS it is 100% SPROUTED!

Farmivore products Three box sizes range from $25.95-$69.95, which includes shipping. Farmivore sends boxes filled with all that you need to make blended or juiced drinks using only organic, GMO-free, fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices. Subscriber can select delivery frequency and either all-green juice boxes or “mixed” boxes with green, red, and orange juices featured. Produce will be sent bagged with recipes to create each of the juices featured in that shipment, and each box makes between 4-16 servings of juice depending on box size. Currently Farmivore ships to eight states in the Northeast.

Farm To People Tasting Box Two tiers of subscriptions (Casual Foodie-$29.95/month and Food Critic: $49.95/month both of which include shipping). Boxes include 2-3 or 5-8 full size products respectively. Items included will be unique, humanely made food items that are locally produced in small batches. All foods are GMO free. FTP also advertise that they are happy to accommodate any serious food allergies or dietary restrictions if you email them directly. Each box centers around a theme. Past themes have included Oktoberfest, Heat Things Up, Turkey Day, among others.

Green Blender $49/week shipping included. Each box brings you pre-portioned and individually wrapped ingredients to make 10 servings of blended smoothie drinks (2 servings each or five different recipes). Boxes include fruits, vegetables, superfoods, and whatever else you need to make a week’s worth of smoothies (you just provide the blender and the water). Produce is organic, local, and seasonal whenever possible. Currently Green Blender delivery area covers approximately a dozen states throughout the Northeast.

Healthy Surprise Offer three subscription options: Classic Box, Big Box, and Paleo Box. Boxes range from 15-21 full size snacks and are priced from $49-$74 depending on subscription option. Multi-month subscriptions are discounted. All items are gluten, soy, corn, wheat, and GMO free. Paleo box also does not contain any refined sugar, grains, dairy, or legumes, but may contain some items with honey, eggs, or high quality meat or fish. Classic Box and Big Box are 100% vegan.

Love with Food Offers three subscription options (Tasting Box, Deluxe Box, and Gluten Free Box) ranging in price from $12-$29/month, shipping included. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Designed to help you discover new organic or all-natural snacks. Boxes feature between 8-20 snack items depending on subscription type. Snacks are either organic or all-natural, GMO-free, gluten-free or free of artificial junk. All snacks in the Gluten-Free box are guaranteed to be gluten free. For every box sold, Love with Food donates a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength – No Kid Hungry.

My non-GMO box $14.99/box. Currently only offering boxes as single purchases, not as a re-billing subscription service. My Non-GMO Box contains an assortment of Non-GMO Project verified products from top-quality manufacturers. The first box, launched January, 2015 included 6 single-serving non-GMO snacks.

Num-Nums Munch Box Offer Single Box ($21.99/month) or Double Box ($43.50/month) plush shipping. Each box available as either Gluten Free, Dairy Free, or Nut Free, although most snacks are selected to be top 8 allergen-free (dairy, egg, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) so the entire family can enjoy them. Single box contains 10 to 12 single-serving snacks, and double box includes 20-24 single-serving snacks. The assortment of snack items includes snack bars, chips, sweets, cookies and more. Although snacks are free of identified allergens, they may be manufactured in factories that process other ingredients.

Send Me Gluten Free $30/month includes free shipping. Discounts with multi-month subscriptions. Each box will include 8-12 gluten free products and will include at least 1 full-sized item. Product selection will include food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support a gluten free lifestyle.

Tasterie
$25.00/month, includes shipping. Four box varieties (Gluten Allergy, Gluten and Dairy Allergy, Nut Allergy, and Top 8 Allergy). Each box includes 4-8 full and single-serving sized allergy-free foods. Nut allergy and Top 8 allergy foods are all confirmed to have been made in a nut-free facility.

Taste Guru $19/month plus shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box contains a mix of full and single-serving sized gluten free food items. Around 10 items per box.

Trade As One $99/quarter 12-15 hand-picked, ethically sourced pantry products. Each box is seasonally themed and includes a broad range of items from everyday staples to fun discovery items. We also help you unpack the meaning of the items in your box with stories from producers, tasty recipes, and product highlights.

Urth Box Offer multiple sizes from Mini (4-5 products) to Large (20-24 products), which range in price from $9-$49/month, including shipping. Each box includes food and beverage items focused health. All boxes are offered in one of four varieties: Classic, Vegan, Gluten Free, or Diet. In addition to snacks, boxes may include “extras” from categories such as supplements, personal hygiene, hair and skin care, gourmet and more. Products will be full sized, although this may include single-serving items.

Vegan Cuts $19.95/month includes free shipping. Each box contains 7-10 full and sample sized vegan food and beverage items. Most products are also gluten free.

Yumvelope $21/month. Shipping free with multi-month subscriptions. Yumvelope highlights 100% natural, small-batch, artisanal food items from throughout the United States. Each shipment includes a minimum of six full-sized items, which may include snacks, drinks, desserts, and chocolates.

Health/Wellness

Natural Herbal Living Herb box + magazine PDF $48/month ($44/month recurring) Mini Herb box + magazine PDF $24/month ($22/month recurring) Will include ingredients to make several recipes shared in Natural Herbal Living Magazine including, but not limited to, the herb of the month, essential oil, flower essence, additional herbs, oils, bees wax, vinegar, honey, and other herbal goodies necessary to make the recipes of the month. This also includes a generous amount of the “herb of the month” to experiment with above and beyond the recipes included in the herb box. The value of the contents of the box will range between $50-60 in addition to the magazine PDF ($4 value). All of the ingredients will be responsibly sourced and organic whenever possible. If the herbs are not certified organic they will be ethically wildcrafted. No box will ever include gluten, nuts, corn, or dairy.

Becca Organics Oil of the Month Four Levels of subscriptions ranging from $27/month to $197/month (shipping included). Designed to help build up your essential oil collection and support health and well-being. Level One includes one bottle of essential oil up through Level Four which provides 8 bottles of essential oils, a room misting spray, an AromaStix roll-on product, and 5 empty mister bottles for creating your own mists. All essential oils are organic and wild harvested and non-GMO.

Essential Oil Wizardry Three levels of membership $20/month gets 1 blend; $49/month 3 items including an essential oil and a tincture; $87/month for 5 items including EO, tincture, and, massage oil plus a 10% off coupon. (Shipping included). Limited to just over 100 members.

Kings Road Apothecary
$52.50/month plus shipping. Multi-month subscriptions include free shipping. Kings Road Apothecary sends handcrafted, small-batch, herbal-based products that often are seasonal in nature. Boxes are themed (e.g., pinon, lymphatic support, seaweed, salt & water, etc.) and include four full-sized products in each shipment. Items may include an herbal tincture, tea, body scrub, facial mask or cream, massage oil, and more. Approximately 50 boxes are available each month. This is not a re-billing subscription. Boxes are available as single purchases or can be pre-purchased as a multi-month subscription.

Pregnancy/Baby/Mom/Home

21 Bundles $39.99/month, shipping included. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Started by a woman who has served as a pre and post-natal yoga instructor, post-partum doula, Certified Lactation Educator Counselor and nanny, 21 Bundles sends all natural, toxin free products to delight new mom or mom-to-be. Boxes tailored for whatever stage of pregnancy or of baby’s first year and will include 5-8 full size items, with a total retail value of anywhere from $50-$80.

Austin Lloyd $49.99/month includes shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes 3-5 premium toys and at least one book catered to your child’s developmental level and gender (or gender neutral), focused on children ages birth to 3 years. All items are non-toxic and BPA-free. These are unique, high end toys that are not typically sold at large retail chains and come from brands like Haba, Plan Toys, Melissa & Doug, and Manhattan Toys among others. They are designed to be engaging and targeted at improving fine motor, cognitive, and social skills. No battery operated toys included.

Ecocentric Mom $24/shipment, shipping included. Ships every other month. Available in three box types (Pregnancy Box, Mom Box, Mom & Baby Box). Each box included 5-9 hand selected products that are gentle on your body and the earth. Items are natural, sustainable, organic, and ethical. Boxes feature a mix of large sample sizes and full size products. Items range from skincare, wellness, snacks, and more in the Mom Box to diapers, skin cream, and organic first food in the Mom & Baby box, to skincare, makeup, spa products, and more in the Pregnancy Box.

Homegrown Collective $39/month plus shipping. Price reduced and shipping free for multi-month subscriptions. Receive a seasonally appropriate, professionally curated  box of products that deliver the satisfaction of living a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle. Examples of past boxes include Home Remedies and Cure Alls, Kombucha, Detox in a Box, and The Beauty of Coconut. Boxes include instructions and all supplies needed to create one or more awesome DIY products with each box (may need to provide some basic supplies). Also teaches you how to become more self-sufficient/sustainable.

The Honest Company Offers several monthly themed bundles: Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers & Wipes ($79.95/month), Essentials-items for home and body care ($35.95/month), Honest Health & Wellness-food based and quality supplements (($35.95/month), and Organic Infant Formula + dha ($119.95/bundle; buyer sets frequency). With the exception of the formula bundle, bundles are fully customized buy the buyer within each theme and specified quantity of items (for example, any 5 items/Essentials bundle; any 2 items/Health & Wellness bundle.

Little PNuts Annual subscription required, no month-to month or single box option. $60/quarterly shipment if annual fee of $240 is paid up front. Shipping is included. Can also opt for $25/month payments for 12 months ($300 total), but will still only receive 4 quarterly boxes. Filled with engaging Eco Friendly & Organic Toys designed to encourage creative play and discovery (3-5 toys/shipment). Choose from three programs : Infant 0-12 Months, Toddler 1-3 Years or Preschool 3-6 Years. Partner with many trusted brands such as Haba, Kathe Kruse, Green Toys, Tegu and more.

SparkBox Toys One Sparkbox every 4 weeks $34.99/month; 1 Sparkbox every 8 weeks $19.99/month. Two month minimum for membership. Designed for children ages 0-4 years, Sparkbox is all about the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This toy rental subscription sends 4 age-appropriate, gently used toys to your child to enjoy for 4-8 weeks. When the fun is done, just sent the box back for more toys. Shipping both ways is included in the subscription price. Sparkbox will curate your box based on child’s age, but they allow members to review, edit, and fully customize their box if they desire. Toys are screened to be high-quality, unique, award-winners. Some may be plastic and/or require batteries (included), others are made from natural materials. SparkBox uses only eco and child-friendly sterilization solutions to clean their toys between shipments. All toys go through a 5-step cleaning process that includes surface cleaning, sterilization, disinfecting, inspection and vacuum sealing.

SwiggyDiggyDo $39.95/month. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Designed for children ages 6 months to four years, however currently box contents will only vary relative to clothing size so some items may be to hand down/gift or grow into depending on your child’s age. SDD seeks to find the best, eco-friendly products that are free of BPA, lead, bromine, phthalates and a bunch of other weird chemicals that companies decide to put into toys, clothing and basically everything else. You will get a custom designed, limited edition shirt for your kid. Along with the shirt, your box might include toys, crafts/activities, books, clothing, feeding items and more.

Fair Trade/Handmade

Fair Ivy $30/month. Currently monthly and multi-month subscriptions are full but you can request to be added to the wait list. Fair Ivy sends a handmade and hand wrapped gift each month. All items are created by individual US artists, with each month representing a single artist’s creations. Each gift you receive is vegan-friendly, and contains an information card with details of the artist’s process, background, or inspiration, so you can understand the time and care put into each hand-wrapped item. Past selections have included a single jewelry item, a purse or clutch, set of stationary, or selection of bath products.

Fair Treasure
$35/month. Discounted for multi-month subs) We hunt for the most amazing designs in home décor, jewelry, and other accessories, personally curating these finds for each month’s treasure boxes. Sometimes we’ll even work collaboratively with artisan groups to develop and design unique products just for us. it will contain at least $30 in retail value of ethically sourced treasures. Typically, your treasure box will contain 2-3 items.
Just as important, we’ll include information on the people and communities who made your treasures and are benefiting from your purchase. What a great thing – you score beautiful goods and make people’s lives better at the same time!

GlobeIn Artisan Box $35/month, shipping free. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. Each box includes 4-6 artisan-made products from around the world (a “globe in a box”) packaged in a Mexican palm leaf basket, as well as a story about the crafters whom you have supported with your purchase.

Fair Trade Friday $35/month plus shipping. Discounts for multi-month subscriptions. monthly membership club that delivers a box of 3-4 high quality items to your door by the first Friday of the month. The items in the box are often jewelry and accessory items, are fairly traded, and provide employment to women all over the world. 100% of the proceeds from each box goes to the empowerment of impoverished women.

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