Paleo Pax is a snack subscription box offering prepared foods that you can open and eat without cooking or using a plate. The service is designed for people who follow the Paleo Diet. If you haven’t heard of it, the Paleo Diet is an eating plan based on modern concepts of what people ate during prehistoric times. Its main rule is to remove or limit foods that became staples after the invention of farming about 10,000 years ago. Grains, legumes, and dairy offerings are all off-limits for Paleo devotees.
Paleo is short for paleolithic, the approximate time period that came to an end with the rise of modern civilization, again about 10,000 years ago when humans were able to settle into farming communities. Prior to this, tribes or bands of people relied on hunting and gathering their food from plant sources or animal flesh. For this reason, Paleo Pax calls it tiered monthly delivery options the Gatherer, the Hunter, and the Mammoth. Each box is successively more expensive and offers more snack samples.
In this review, we will dig in and see if the Paleo Pax box is worth the money. We can help you decide if you need it, or which size will best fit your needs.
No filler or fluff-just 100% Paleo snacks in a box
Gatherer option is low cost enough for the curious
Mammoth is expensive, but can provide snacks for 2-3 people for a month
Includes animal and seed protein
Some of the items work as treats or rewards (flavored snack bars)
Can't pick your own snacks, and changes each month
Paleo Pax does not include nutritional or ingredient information on the site, not even general guidelines
Some snacks contain nuts (but no soy, dairy, or gluten)
What You Get
We aren’t going to quote prices here because they are subject to change and Paleo Pax sometimes runs specials and discounts. But the structure is this:
Gatherer is the lowest priced tier, while Mammoth is the highest. Subscribers receive between 8 and 10 packaged snacks with the Gatherer, 18 and 20 with the Hunter, and up to 40 offerings with the Mammoth box. The Mammoth would be ideal for a family or group of paleo-minded friends to split and share.
Since Paleo Pax doesn’t give you autonomy over what’s in the box, and there’s no way for the website to list every possibility, we went with what Paleo Pax describes as a typical collection, on the product page which doubles as an FAQ. The next section, How Healthy Is It, provides a rundown of the examples with a brief nutritional profile for each one. Just because the snacks are free of dairy, soy, wheat, and gluten, that does not mean they don’t contain any questionable ingredients.
How Healthy Is It?
Cookies: This is the commercial version of a well-loved paleo dessert made from raisins and walnuts, with honey and spices for flavor. Almond flour, which contains no gluten, takes the place of wheat-based flour. We are a fan of the cookies because they can satisfy a craving sweets, but contain no sugar or refined carbs and are only 65 calories each.
Beef jerky sticks: These are desiccated sticks of beef, like what you find at a gas station but of a higher quality. The ones Paleo Pax uses are made from grass-fed beef, with no nitrates or artificial colors. The sticks contain no sugar, but they do rely on salt as a preservative. The sample we looked up contains 350 mg of sodium in each stick, enough to affect people with hypertension if they eat the sticks. The sticks are a good source of protein.
There are also examples of crunchy granola based snacks, in a bar and mix formats (like Chex mix or cereal). Granola is a huge staple of the paleo diet, as it provides protein without breaking any of the prescribed rules. The granola snacks Paleo Pax uses are low in sugar, low in carbs and contain no sodium. They also contain low helpings of protein, though.
Without breaking down every snack and naming them by brand, we are happy to say that the snacks in the Paleo Pax box have nutritional value and provide healthy alternatives to convenience food like chips, snack cakes, and crackers. It is so easy to gorge on those foods, and some of us have stared down an empty box without realizing it was happening. One thing Paleo Pax excels at is portion control. If you want your box to last all month, or whatever, there’s no way not to see exactly how much you have eaten and how much is left.
The Paleo Pac business model is to buy bulk products from the makers, earning themselves a discount so they can distribute the products through their boxes. Paleo Pax does not make any products. If you bought all the snacks in a typical box on your own, you would end up spending more money. This is partly because not all the products are available in single servings for non-business customers. Letting Paleo Pax gather the snacks, too, is a huge time saver and sampling the goods can help you find new products that will become favorites.
Paleo Pax even partners with the snack providers to offer promo codes for when you purchase something you first found in a Paleo Pax monthly box.
In addition to having no gluten, grain, or dairy components, Paleo Pax box components contain no artificial sweeteners. The company offers free shipping.
Worth The Cash?
The only medically diagnosable and treatable condition associated with gluten is a serious illness called celiac disease. When individuals that have celiac disease eat anything that contains gluten, their body, or more importantly, their entire immune system goes into hyperdrive because it actually believes it's being attacked. The immune system defends itself by attacking the person's small intestine. Symptoms include bowel pain, indigestion, and sometimes a negative impact on one’s mood. People with celiac disease are severely limited in what they can eat, especially in the United States where bread and grains make up so much of our diet.
While celiac disease happens to be very real and serious, there is no such thing as a gluten allergy. The mistake many of us make is confusing gluten with wheat. Wheat is a grain ingredient used in bread, certain snack bars and cereals, and many baked goods. Wheat is not the same as gluten--gluten is a protein that naturally occurs in wheat. It is responsible for giving foods like bread and pancakes a coherent structure.
While nobody is allergic to gluten, many of us are allergic to wheat. Conflating the two is misleading and a bit irresponsible, and could actually put a customer’s health at risk if they are not educated about the difference. While the statement is not a deal-breaker to us, it does make us wonder how much time Paleo Pax staff spent researching the individual products in the boxes.
Customers may also associate gluten insensitivity with an allergic reaction. But in reality, medical science has not been able to establish a link between gluten and the collection of symptoms commonly labeled gluten insensitivity. People with celiac disease, a treatable condition, are the ones most at risk from foods containing gluten.