Tag: nutrition

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?!


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!







2 Comments March 14, 2017

Healthy Swellness: Nestlé’s commitment to helping Canadians eat healthier

I’ve had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at a pasta factory and a cheese factor–both in Italy–an ice cream factory in Texas, and most recently, I visited Nestlé Canada’s test kitchen in Toronto, where I learned how the company is focused on improving the health of Canadians.

“In 2012 we made a commitment that by the end of 2014, if we had children’s products that no longer met, or that couldn’t be made to meet, our Nutrition Foundation criteria, which are based on guidance set out by the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine, we would no longer sell them,” explains Kate Cole, a Registered Dietitian and Manager, Nutrition Health & Wellness for Nestlé Canada.

This initiative has impacted 33 products–including top-sellers Smarties, Nesquik,and Nestlé Ice Creams–that needed to be reformulated, re-proportioned, or discontinued. Thirty-three products; that’s no small challenge. Take for example Smarties, which originally came in a 50 gram package containing 33 grams of sugar. To meet Nestlé’s new commitment, sugar had to be slashed to 11 grams per serving. The answer? Portion control.

“The new packaging comes with three separate portion-controlled sections that contain 15 Smarties in each with a total of 11 grams of sugar,” explains Cole. “This way kids (and moms) can enjoy in smaller amounts.” (If you’re wondering about the candy’s colouring, the company took out artificial colouring in Smarties in 2009, which is why you may have noticed the hues are more muted than before.) But what didn’t make the cut? The Smarties King Bar. Even though it made the company money, Nestlé Canada discontinued the product.


Nesquik , which comes in either a powder or a liquid formulation, was another product they had to tweak to have it meet the Nutrition Foundation criteria. While there was already an Original and a 1/3 Less Sugar version of Nesquik on the market, both needed a sugar overhaul. However, the Original powder version couldn’t be reduced in sugar without a big impact on taste. As a result, it was discontinued. Today only the 1/3 Less Sugar powder and both versions of the syrup are available. The 1/3 Less Sugar syrup has been reduced from 12 grams of sugar to 8 grams per serving, while the original syrup now meets the 11 grams per serving maximum dictated in the Nutritional Foundation criteria.

And if you’re wondering how these changes impact taste, during my visit I did a Nesquik taste test, and I could not detect a difference. Both fulfilled that chocolate-y taste I know well since it’s a product I grew up enjoying.

It’s not just food products that appeal to kids that are getting a makeover worthy of a reality-show reveal (don’t you just love TV makeovers?). “We are also reducing our sodium, sugar, and saturated fat in all of our products that don’t meet our nutrition criteria,” says Cole. In 2013 the company began reducing sodium in its frozen pizzas. To date, the company has reduced levels by 7 percent and they are on target to reach a 10 percent reduction by the end of 2016. (In a consumer comparison against its competitors, the reduced-sodium pizza offerings have continually won for taste preference.) Similar changes are being made to reduce saturated fat in Nestlé pizzas and ice cream.

The company’s plans to be a leader in health, nutrition and wellness in Canada encompasses not just food products, but also extends to Nestlé’s employees (who benefit from nutrition training and discounted fitness memberships–which I wish all companies would offer their staff; it can only benefit your company if your employees are healthy and active!). Nestle also works with their suppliers (through investment in sustainable raw materials such as cocoa), and on the environment (by reducing the company’s waste and transportation-related emissions).

“Our concept of business is to bring value absolutely and unapologetically to our shareholders, because we are here to make a profit,” says Catherine O’Brien, VP Corporate Affairs. “But at the same time we have to bring value to society. If those two things don’t go hand in hand it’s not something we are interested in pursuing.”


Leave a Comment June 24, 2015

For the most nutrient-dense produce, go with the ones front and centre

So I realized recently that I may be a bit fussy when it comes to buying fresh produce–as I was standing there, carefully selecting and examining about 8 different pieces of fruit, at least three people came and went, picking up the first fruit they touched. Huh.

Anyhow, enough about me and my–let’s call it discerning–ways…

When you shop for produce you might want “Let there be light” be your mantra. The USDA conducted a study and found that spinach leaves exposed to the artificial flourescent lighting (which would be those packages in the front) are more nutritious (with significant increase in levels of carotenoids and vitamins C, E, K, and B9) than those stored in darkness (ie. those hidden in the back of the display).

Leave a Comment May 4, 2011

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