Health Review: Bulu Box Supplement Samples


Bulu Box delivers samples of various vitamins, supplements, and general health products. Note that sample size, quality, and value vary each month.

2/5 Stars

Ever since the sample box concept was introduced, I have been watching from the sidelines. In general, I find samples to be disappointing. They tend to be small, with not enough product to really decide if it's worth the money and time.

When samples are free these minor annoyances are easy to blow off. But when I am actually paying for the samples themselves, and somebody is being paid to "curate" them for me, I want some good size, useful samples.

As a fitness professional, I tend to steer clear of energy supplements (which tend to be full of caffeine, and I would rather have a cup of coffee) and anything that guarantees weight loss, since I know the claims are spurious. I mean, anything will help you lose weight if you also follow the directions to eat less and exercise more.

So, somehow I was looking for something new and different from Bulu Box. After all, it does say on their website that I should,

Look forward to a new mix of products for both women and men, including vitamins, weight loss, sports nutrition, protein, diet, energy, detox, digestion, sexual health, herbs, natural remedies, endurance and more. We'll make sure you get enough to decide if the product is right for you.

I received a complementary three month subscription, and was able to try both the regular Bulu Box and the weight loss Bulu Box.

Bulu Box

OK, so first I saw the cute, inspiring Lululemon-like packaging, which while cute does absolutely nothing for me.

Here's what was in my first box, in March.

March Bulu Box

The $50 iTrain gift card is a great bonus, since you can download some good workouts from that site. But gift cards are not the norm. Otherwise I had a pack of gum, one bottle of Dream Water, a 1/2 dose packet of Barlean's Omega Swirl, and two capsules of a caffeine filled energy supplement which I threw away (and really, what good would two capsules due anyway?).

April's box contained another pack of the same gum, another Omega Swirl packet, a Barre meal replacement bar (which was excellent, by the way), some Coco-Vita (which I had been wanting to try, but it doesn't taste very good), and some - wait for it - energy supplements that I tossed.

Here is what I received in May:

May Bulu Box

Here we have a pack of two Beauty Burst collagen supplements that actually say "Free Sample" on the package, so not sure why one needs to pay for that. The packet of nut butter was actually quite yummy, but not enough to spread on two Ryvita crackers. The allergy supplement is four capsules, but since my allergies are carefully managed by my physician I decided not to rock that boat. The ProMax bar is again a free sample that I have collected elsewhere for free. And then we have the FitMixer Amino energy supplement, that also has caffeine in it.

If you like the samples, Bulu Box also allows you to buy full size products using both cash and reward points, which you will receive for subscribing, writing reviews, and completing surveys about the samples you receive each month.

All in all, I didn't find the sample boxes to be so exciting. Have you tried Bulu Box? Or another sample box? What was your experience?

On the Road to Wellness: Adapten-All

Adapten-All adrenal support supplement, along with a multi-vitamin and fish oil, has also helped a lot.

Thanks to my fabulous gynecologist, I have a compounding pharmacist, Scott Berliner from Life Science Pharmacy in upstate NY, who makes my bio-identical hormone replacment cream ever 90 days. Since he is trusted by the physicians at Beth Israel, I trust him too. When Dr. Sondhi at Continuum tested my thyroid and found everything to be normal, I emailed Scott.

The First Bottle of Adapten-All

He immediately replied and recommended Ortho Molecular - Adapten-All, saying that it worked well for adrenal fatigue, but would take about three months to really set in. I ordered a bottle from Amazon, and two days later had them. Scott recommended that I start with one capsule in the morning and one at lunch for two weeks, then two capsules morning and lunch thereafter for at least 90 days.

I am at the end of the first bottle of 120 capsules, and between the multi-vitamin, the fish oil, the better diet, the acupuncture, and the Adapten-All I am feeling much better.

Why Adapten-All Works

According to Scott and to their website,

The Importance of Natural Vitamin and Mineral Supplements for Adrenal Health

A balanced vitamin and mineral supplement regimen is critical when addressing adrenal regulation. The synthesis and secretion of cortisol is largely dependent on adequate supplies of various vitamins. Vitamin C is needed for steroid biosynthesis and is depleted from the adrenal cortex upon high cortisol secretion. Niacin derivatives are also necessary co-factors for steroid biosynthesis. Pantothenic acid is vital to maintain steroid secretion from the adrenal cortex.

Herbal Extracts that Support Adrenal Health

Siberian ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, Glycyrrhiza glabra, and Schizandra chinensis are all considered to be adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogens are substances that nonspecifically increase the resistance of stress and exerts a balancing effect on various systems in the body (immune, central nervous, etc).

All I know is it appears to be helping, and is certainly not hurting. 120 capsules runs $44 on Amazon (about 10% lower than direct buy from the maker).

Book Review: The Vitamin D Cure


Book Review: The Vitamin D Cure by James E. Dowd, M.D. and Diane Stafford

The Vitamin D Cure, Revised

Every winter I, and many people I know, start to feel depressed, tired, and fat. We crave comforting carb-laden foods like mashed potatoes with gravy and stop wanting to go outside in the cold, which just makes things worse.

What I always knew as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is not necessarily a psychological disorder, according to Dr. James Dowd, but is in fact caused by a simple nutritional deficiency. Hence, The Vitamin D Cure. After all, my symptoms were much better when I lived in the Caribbean, even though we still changed the clocks in Turks and Caicos and it got dark at 5pm. At least the rest of the day it was warm and, most importantly, sunny.

In the cities we have less direct sunlight, fewer locally grown fresh foods, and generally we move less. According to Dowd, these factors contribute to a large-scale vitamin D deficiency, stating,

"An unbalanced diet, vitamin D deficiency, and the medical problems they cause affect more than two-thirds of the US population (about 200 million people)."

Despite the name, Vitamin D is actually an anti-inflammatory hormone that the body needs to function well. Obesity, lack of exercise, and lack of exposure to sunlight are the biggest culprits here (and wearing sunscreen negates the positive effects of sun exposure).

Almost every week I read a story in the news about vitamin D deficiency being linked to asthma, Crohn's Disease, MS, arthritis, and numerous other diseases. Dowd learned the hard way himself when he left his native Texas for dark and chilly Michigan. Soon after, he started experiencing joint inflammation and pain, sleep disturbances, weight gain, muscle cramps, and fatigue which were all a result of vitamin D deficiency from less sun, less exercise, and more processed foods.

Dowd offers some quizzes to help you figure out how much vitamin D you need and then sets out to help you get that amount via sun, supplements, a low-acid diet, and more exercise. Any doubts I may have had about this theory were eased when I flipped through the 36 pages of references backing him up.