Tag: hydration

Healthy Swellness: Stand up for clean water with Me to We and Brita

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Last fall, I had a chance to attend the launch event for Brita Canada’s partnership with WE focused on the campaign that’s resulted in a borehole in Irkaat, Kenya. This borehole provides a community of more than 1,800 with access to clean water.

This spring, the program is growing in a pretty awesome way. We all make use of reusable water bottles, or we all should be (to cut down on bottles going into landfills, and besides, it’s good for our bodies to stay well hydrated with water). And now, as of March 2017, your purchase of this specially marked Brita Me to We statement bottle (it’s $19.99) will provide a year’s supply of clean water to a person in Irkaat.

I think it’s especially cool because you can actually check online how your purchase has made an impact. On each Brita Me to We product, there’s a Track Your Impact code; enter it online and you can see how you’ve helped make a difference.

The 700-mL bottle features the Brita replaceable water filter (I already use a Brita filter at home because I prefer the cleaner taste) and every reusable bottle has been shown to replace 300 plastic water bottles. I’ll admit that don’t always remember to bring a reusable bottle with me when I head out for a workout other than a run (I’m very careful about hydrating for a run) and I do tend to use my S’well bottle to keep my water cold on hot days. But I like this Brita Me to We bottle because it’s lightweight and I feel like I don’t have to be as precious with it (I’m always scared of scratching or denting my S’well), and the biggest plus of this bottle is that it’s great to be able to filter water on the go.

And of course, there’s the pretty great feel-good factor off knowing this small purchase helps provide clean water for a full year to someone in Kenya.

To get your own Brita Me to We limited edition bottle, you can find it at Wal-Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Atlantic Superstore, Loblaws and Zehrs locations.

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Leave a Comment March 22, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Hydrating with Bonne O (+ a giveaway!)

Bonne O water

If you’ve ever traveled with me or have followed me on the blog for awhile, you probably know that drinking water is not something I do very often. I drink water when I run, of course, and when I work out, but I haven’t been able to make it a habit to drink several glasses of water daily. I did make a real effort to drink plenty of water years ago when training for my first half-marathon, and found I was frustrated with being in the bathroom all the time. And I noticed that when I stopped guzzling water, my running didn’t seem to be affected, so I stopped drinking it as often (and interestingly, more recent research challenges how much fluid we actually need).

One thing I have been able to do when it comes to hydration is swap out some of the juice and a lot of the soft drinks (I used to consume a half a can daily and now I don’t usually have any in my fridge) and I’ve replaced it with flavoured sparkling water. As you may recall, I tried out Sodastream last year to help me do this, and I was super curious about Bonne O, another at-home machine to make your water bubbly so when this Canadian company asked me to try out their sparkling beverage system, I told them I was in as long as I could share my honest review to which Bonne O said of course.

So, how’s it measure up? My first reaction to the actual Bonne O machine itself is that it’s not very sleek or modern looking. Compared to the modern look of my Sodastream Power, the white machine and overall shape is much less appealing to me than the boxy and more compact shape of the Sodastream Power I have (besides aesthetics, I need kitchen gadgets that take up the least amount of space in my small kitchen, and I feel like Bonne O takes up more counter space).

Bonne O

Bonne O’s major difference, in my opinion, is the carbonators. What are these mysterious little white pucks that somehow make water bubbly? Instead of the usual heavy canisters of compressed CO2 (the kind you use with Sodastream), Bonne O uses small round pucks, which are made of food-grade materials (think citric acid and sodium bicarbonate) that react with water to create CO2 gas.

Another thing that sets Bonne O apart is you can use it to carbonate lots of different beverages and ingredients. With Sodastream, you’re carbonating water and adding fruit or syrup. But with Bonne O, you can make fruit infusions so that flavours are incorporated during the sparkling process. And, people, you can sparkle wine or your favourite cocktail! Whaaaat. I could get behind some sparkling white wine on a hot summer night!

That said, because I go through phases, lately I’m focusing less on what I’m drinking (my juicer hasn’t been used in while…) and focusing more on cooking, so I’ve been using the Bonne O mostly to drink sparkling water really simply with lemon or lime. But I did whip up some ginger syrup as the Bonne O 100 Sparkling Creations book that comes with the unit inspired me to try the recipe. And the result is delicious, and I like the idea that I’m making my pop from scratch.

So which machine do I prefer? I found that Bonne O, using one carbonation puck, results in exactly the level of bubbliness I enjoy (N.B. You can use half a Bonne O carbonator if you prefer less bubbles). My Sodastream Power, while it offers three levels of carbonation, I found that the results weren’t consistent (I sometimes selected the highest carbonation twice to get a decent amount of bubbles, but sometimes I’d end up with great bubbliness and sometimes less so).

It’s the carbonators that are, in my opinion, the major advantage to the Bonne O system. With my small kitchen’s limited storage and no car to do grocery shopping, I really dislike buying, storing and and returning the CO2 tanks. The carbonators in comparison are lightweight and are in a compact box, and this is what’s won me over. The only thing I feel Bonne O comes in second on is its design, as I mentioned above. Sodastream Power is a much sexier looking machine. If choosing between the two machines, I personally think it boils down to the CO2 tanks vs carbonators and the machine’s design, as I find the actual beverage results pretty comparable if you’re planning on carbonating water (if you’re keen on carbonating wine and other drinks then, of course, Bonne O is the way to go).

And what about that giveaway I mentioned?!

(THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED)

CONGRATS TO SHAMARRA G., the winner of her own Bonne O! Thank you to everyone who entered!

Here it is! You don’t just have to take my word on what Bonne O is like because one lucky winner in my giveaway will win a Bonne O Sparkling Beverage System (valued at $169.99 Canadian/$149.99 U.S.)! The giveaway is open to Canadian and continental U.S. residents. You can enter in three different ways (enter all three ways as each way counts as an entry!):

INSTAGRAM: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness), and comment on the photo related to this giveaway — tell me what beverage you’d use the Bonne O to make. Would you add a certain fruit? A cocktail? Herbs?

TWITTER: Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I love bubbles! And I’d love to win a @bonne_o Sparkling Beverage System from @healthswellness! http://bit.ly/2nCvvQX #bonneoswellness

FACEBOOK: “Like” the Health and Swellness Facebook page, and reply on the photo on the page — tell me how much water you drink daily. I’d love to hear what everyone’s hydration habits are!

This giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random on March 22, 2017 and contacted via the method they’ve entered to provide their shipping address and contact info.

Thanks, good luck and happy hydrating!

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1 Comment March 14, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Getting back on track with SodaStream Power

SodaStream Power

You know when you have so much going on that you feel like you’re just barreling through the day to get things done, but with no particular plan in mind, all you’re doing is keeping things going? That’s how I’ve felt for the last few months, maybe even years…But most of all this summer. This summer has been straight-up bananas.

But I’m committing to getting things back on track, and I’ve teamed up with SodaStream to help me do just that — both with hydration, naturally, given it’s SodaStream, but I see it all as being tied into making life easier. To help me do that, for the month of August, SodaStream has hooked me up  with a healthy meal plan all month long from Eat Train Live. You probably know that I adore eating and while I do like to cook, when I’m cramming cooking into a hectic day and then have a pile of dishes to wash afterwards, it causes me more stress than anything else. So for this one glorious month, my lunches and dinners are from Eat Train Live (I still make my own breakfasts), and I can then spend just a little time making a bevvie with my SodaStream Power so I can be well hydrated.

I’m about two weeks into my Eat Train Live program and I am a fan: almost all of the meals are very flavourful (one chicken dish I found a bit bland, and I will say there is at least one or two salmon dishes a week, which is not my fave fish). Meal so far included Asian Beef with vermicelli and zucchini slaw, baked chicken with brown rice and broccoli, and 5-spice steak with vegetable fried rice. I must find out how they prep their chicken as it is always juicy (I think they must brine it — I’ve had success with that but am usually much too lazy to add this step!). The meals often feature sweet potatoes, which I feel I may grow tired of, but thus far, the meals are quite varied so I’m not bored. And while they might appear on the small side, I find each meal extremely filling. Seriously filling. I’m satiated for hours. In fact, so much so that this makes me think my diet was too low on protein before this meal plan (I do feel like I’ve never had more chicken and steak regularly ever!) as I feel full pretty much always (and sometimes I find it hard to finish each meal).

Besides being tasty and filling, it’s the convenience of a well-made balanced meal. I honestly get a little giddy each time it’s time to eat and I have all of these well-rounded meals ready in two minutes. It’s given me time to reclaim some time for me. Which I need because I think I forgot that I have no time and added needing to swim regularly because I am maybe doing a try a tri in September (I say maybe because I may panic and back out!).

As for how I’m hydrating with the SodaStream? Well, a bit of background: Although I gave up my habit of keeping a supply of soft drinks at home a few years ago, I do occasionally buy a single one to satisfy a craving (I grew up drinking pop and well, sometimes I just really want a soft drink!). But with my SodaStream Power, it provides me with the bubbles I love, but I can control what’s going into my fizzy drink and I can control how much sugar is in it. Thus far, to go with the meals, I’m keeping things pretty clean and crisp and am adding just add a slice of lime or lemon. Most of the Eat Train Live meals come with a wedge of citrus so I like that my water doesn’t interfere with the flavours of the food. I will start experimenting more though over the next few weeks, though.

The SodaStream Power will be yet another tool to help me hydrate more (I have an arsenal of water bottles, too), which I know is key to my health and fitness. I realized once again how much less I hydrate than others on my recent week-long sailing trip to Greece, during which the other five guests guzzled (well, to me it was guzzling, it was likely a normal human level of hydration…) water every few minutes. I’d bet money I drank at most a single two-litre bottle the entire week. Hydrating regularly (except for when I’m actually running) just hasn’t yet become a habit for me  yet.

I’ll be posting about my SodaStream get-back-on-track regimen on Instagram and  Twitter in the coming weeks. If you have any recos on how I should flavour my fizzy water,  please do drop me a line! Next up is cucumber, and I think I need to do something with peaches…

Eat Train Live

 

 

Leave a Comment August 19, 2016

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