Please don’t take this as a weird flex, but I get a lot of product pitches and offers to receive free stuff in exchange for promotion and I say no to most of them. I’m not here to trick you into buying flat belly tea. But if I’m genuinely interested and think you will be too I’ll say yes. And I always post when the items arrive… but sometimes I forget to update you on what I actually thought. So I asked my Instagram followers which products they wanted a follow up review on and here are the ones they chose!

1. Myro Deodorant

The gist: You’ve probably seen their ads, which feature their really cute, colorful, reusable containers. The concept is, natural deodorant – you choose the scent or lack thereof – that’s refillable so you ultimately use less plastic (the plastic on the refill is recyclable). I couldn’t find much about the shipping on their website – I can only assume the packaging is recycled and recyclable. And you can argue that shipping a refill has an environmental cost, but there are studies that support online shopping vs everyone driving a car to the store because ultimately online shopping means fewer vehicles on the road.

The review: I received the starter kit, which costs $10 and includes the case and one deodorant pod. My first impression was that the red case I chose was really cute, and the scent was nice. I received this in the hottest part of the summer, so I really put it to the test. I used Myro for a few weeks, and I did think it did a good job preventing B.O. and it lasted a long time. However, the formula is very wet and sticky and in the summer when I don’t have the buffer of a sleeve between my pits and arms it just felt gross. Maybe if I only wore t-shirts it wouldn’t have bothered me.

What other people said: I have friends who also tried Myro, and a couple of them reported having really bad skin reactions. I’m not sure which ingredient caused them, but pit rash is the worst. Another friend had a hard time clicking the pod into place, and found it to be annoyingly loose and wiggly.

Final word: So, the concept is cute, but there’s some work to be done. I didn’t subscribe. And I also think there’s room for me to do a whole post about natural deodorants because I get a LOT of questions about them.

2. Epic Protein – New Flavors

The gist: I already proclaimed my love for Sprout Living’s Epic Protein Chocolate Maca in a previous post about Vegan Protein Powders That Don’t Suck. So when they reached out with an offer to try their new flavors I accepted. They just introduced Pro Collagen, Real Sport and Coffee Mushroom varieties – all vegan.

The review: I received samples of the Pro Collagen and Coffee Mushroom, along with some other flavors I’ve already tried – like Chocolate Maca, Green Kingdom and Vanilla Lucuma. I tried the Pro Collagen first because raspberry, pomegranate and beet sounded interesting to me. The flavor was very subtle, and would probably pair well with frozen berries if you’re a fruit-in-your-smoothie person. But in the world of protein powders, as you might know, “subtle” is preferable to “gross,” which many of them are. The Coffee Mushroom ended up being my favorite, despite me still not fully understanding what the health benefits of mushroom powder are. Either way, I’d order that one again – whenever I get sick of Chocolate Maca. Given that I received two servings of each flavor, I can’t speak to any long term results, but I do drink a protein shake each morning and neither of these made me angry.

What other people said: As soon as I posted an unboxing video I got hit with DMs from several nutritionists, alerting me to the possible “woo” behind the whole collagen craze. I think it’s fair to be skeptical about whether or not ingesting collagen (plant-based or not) has any effect on your health and appearance, but given that it is a trend right now I’m glad there’s a vegan option. Same goes for mushrooms – although no one’s “woo” alarms sounded over that one so maybe it’s more accepted as scientific than collagen.

Final word: I really like Epic Protein, and I spend nearly $50 on it every month, so I don’t really know what better endorsement I could give. The ingredients are simple, most of them taste good, and if you’re a person who gets excited by collagen and mushroom supplements, now they have some things for you.

GIVEAWAY: Because this is a product I can fully back, I’m hosting a giveaway! One US-based recipient will receive a full-size bag of Epic Protein, plus a variety pack of single-serves. To enter, use the widget below – you can also enter on Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

3. Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Gummies

The gist: A couple months ago, my grandma was telling me that she drinks apple cider vinegar every day to support her immune system. I told her that sounded gross, and that I would rather get sick. The literal day after that conversation, Goli Nutrition reached out about their vegan apple cider gummies – claiming to be just as beneficial as drinking the stuff, but less gross. So I said yep – send ’em my way.

The review: I made Tony stand by when I first tasted these, in case I died of barfing. But I was pleasantly surprised to find them not only not-disgusting, but actually kind of tasty. The ingredients are very similar to a vegan fruit snack, but with the addition of apple cider vinegar and some B vitamins. They recommend eating 2-6 per day, so I faithfully ate two every morning until I ran out. Did I reorder? No. While I didn’t have any negative experiences, I didn’t really notice any benefits that would justify putting another product into my already product-heavy morning routine.

What other people said: I have friends who are regular ACV consumers who have told me they didn’t find these gummies to be as potent as swigging the real thing. To which I say, be my guest.

The verdict: Given that these were not disgusting, I would consider buying them for my grandma. I didn’t personally notice any benefits, but they do have some scientific research on their site that makes me believe it’s not total nonsense.

4. Completeats Cookies

The gist: Lauren, the owner of this SF-based company, was nice enough to reach out and offer me some samples of her chia-and-date-based cookies. I work at Upton’s Naturals, in an office full of ferociously snacky vegans, so I had her ship them to the office so everyone could try them.

The review: These got eaten so fast I think I only got to personally try two flavors – the Mocha Chip and Banana Bread. These are definitely date-and-chia cookies, so if you go into it expecting grandma’s chocolate chips you’ll be disappointed. But if you think of them more along the lines of an energy bar – which, at 250 calories and 7g protein, they kind of are, they’re better than most.

What other people said: Everyone in my office is vegan, so we’re definitely a niche test market. While a couple people did say they weren’t really cookies, they all agreed that they tasted good. The only flavors that didn’t get rave reviews were the ones containing natural extracts – like Banana Bread and Cherry Almond. There were still fans of those among us, but a couple of people felt that those extracts were artificial-tasting, despite being naturally derived.

The verdict: Because I’m not a “health vegan” and I’m not gluten-free, if I want a cookie, I’m just going to eat a cookie. But I can see where someone looking for a convenient option without refined sugar or gluten would reach for these “superfood” cookies – and, honestly, if I could grab these at my local coffee shop I would buy the Mocha Chip one a couple times a week.

5. Seed Probiotics

OK, Whereas I have spent the majority of this post being like, “I dunno about the science behind this, but…” probiotics are one area where I do understand the science, and the benefits. Longtime readers may recall (and new readers may be horrified by the fact that) I worked for one of the largest and most successful dairy-based probiotic brands in the country many years ago. While I am not proud to have been part of the dairy industry, I am proud that during my time there I worked on a vegan, probiotic water product (that never came to market) and advocated for the retail locations to serve a vegan probiotic in their cold-pressed juices (which did happen).

The gist: Because I worked in this industry, for a brand who could afford to lab-test their competitors, I know how many ineffective probiotic products are out there making false claims. Which is a bummer, because a real-deal probiotic has so many health benefits from the obvious “it’ll make you poop” to a stronger immune system, healthy skin, and all kinds of other things the FDA would come for me over. So I scrutinized the science behind Seed. Despite their website being really obnoxious, and their use of the word “brainforest,” which I hate so much, the science is solid – the testing and clinical work are impressive, and I felt comfortable saying yes to taking these random pills every day.

The review: I posted a lot of stories about the unboxing on Instagram because every part of the package was impressive. The kit arrives nested in a mycelium form – that’s the root structure of a mushroom, for those of you whose little sisters are not horticulturists. Whereas most companies would ship glass in plastic bubble wrap or even those compostable Cheeto things, this compostable form was truly organic, and really fun to poke. (The shipping box is of course recycled and recyclable.) The jar is glass, and meant to be refilled – the refills come in a home-compostable pouch. It also came with a smaller glass vial meant for travel, that holds a full week’s supply.

Seed suggests taking a half dose for the first three days (one pill, with water, on an empty stomach) so your body can adjust. On the first day, I chased that with an anti-gas pill because probiotics can sometimes cause gas as you get used to them, and I don’t have time to sit around a fart all day. I did notice a little bloat that first day, but by the second and third it was gone. On the fourth day I started the full dose and that’s when I knew this probiotic was working. How do I put this? I am typically a once-a-day pooper – right after the first coffee of the morning, know what I’m saying? Now I am a 2-3 times a day pooper, and loving it. (Now would be a good time to space out if you don’t like poop-talk. Or maybe it’s too late, in which case – sorry?) These are good poops. Complete poops. Real poops, not like a desperate coffee poop. These are poops America can be proud of.

What other people say: I honestly don’t know a single person who has tried these yet, but I know tons of people who take a daily probiotic. If you’re one of them, and you’re jealous of my review, maybe give Seed a shot?

The verdict: At $50/month, Seed is slightly cheaper than a kombucha a day, and I would argue more complete, if you’re just in it for the probiotics. (Plus I think kombucha is so, so gross.) It might not be a necessity to everyone, but if you have digestive issues, or are concerned about your gut health, it’s a small price to pay for something that I do believe works.

Please note: This is NOT a sponsored post, I purchased and used these products and this is my honest opinion of them. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click and purchase I might earn the smallest amount of money imaginable.