Tag: sodastream

Healthy Swellness: Brita Longlast Filter


If you’ve followed me for a little while, you may know that I don’t drink very much water. Wine, cocktails, juices, coffee, tea but drinking water (other than during my runs) has always been a struggle.

Both my Bonne O and my SodaStream have helped, though, so I now happily hydrate more often. Not a lot by any means, but even just a glass or two a day (I now have about two a day) is very much an improvement for me.

Having filtered water has also helped, and I was happy to learn about Brita‘s new product, the Longlast Filter. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re maybe not so diligent about changing your Brita filter when you’re supposed to, and their BPA-Free Brita Longlast Filter ($39.99 for a pack of two filters) provides up to six months of filtering. That means you only have to change it twice a year—do it now with the new year here and you’re good until June!

This is three times longer than their standard filter, and this new filter is also able to filter out contaminants like lead, asbestos and cadmium from tap water (but it leaves in the fluoride, which, as you may know promotes dental health).

At the P&G roundtable I attended a couple of  months ago, we all talked about how drinking water is so important. Janet Tamo encouraged drinking plain tap water, but I need the bubbles and lime or lemon to make it a little more palatable, and I’m going to try to add drinking one cup with lemon in the a.m. as a new morning ritual (but I’m not giving up my coffee!).

The Brita Longlast Filter is in stores now, by the way, where you’d expect to find them (Amazon, Canadian Tire, Walmart, etc.).

Happy hydrating!


Leave a Comment January 26, 2018

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!







1 Comment March 14, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Staying on track with my hydration (and life!) with SodaStream Power

Processed with Snapseed.


Sometimes I think my flex schedule and what I cram into it is going to be the end of me. I have friends lecture me about putting too much on my plate. And while they (and I) acknowledge that that tends to be a lifestyle pace I enjoy and thrive in, at times I need a breather, and I recognize when I could use help staying on track. And right now that help is in the form of my Sodastream and a new meal plan.

A month ago, I kicked off four weeks of a get-back-on-track hydration and fuel plan using my Sodastream POWER to create healthy beverages at home paired with a meal plan from Eat Train Live. I’m now kicking off a new four-week plan, this time with meals from Eats by K Catering while still using my Sodastream POWER to serve up the hydration.

I’m one week into the plan and so far, as with the last plan, both elements are a great addition to my lifestyle. The Sodastream POWER has me drinking fruit juices less often (they are loaded with sugar). It’s been a process but I’ve been able to train my taste buds to enjoy less sugar; I’ll even opt for sparkling water served plain at home or out at restaurants now; this is new, I never used to enjoy sparkling water. For at home, I enjoy thinking of ways to add natural flavour to my Sodastream beverages,  like this strawberry and basil combo here. Besides being delicious, the waters you can make can turn out quite gorgeous, which is very satisfying in and of itself.

Processed with Snapseed.

As for Eats by K, this plan is one that could fit into my budget (at $55 for five meals) and I feel the meals are close to what my body and taste buds crave. (Everything, btw, is made with wholesome ingredients and from scratch.) I don’t rule out pasta and potatoes from my diet (as a runner, I need those carbs, and actually I think they both get a bad rap from  many people)  and you’ll find them in the occasional Eats by K meal. As with my last meal plan, I do find myself very full with each meal. I often eat about two-thirds and then save the rest for a snack; which makes me realize over time I seem to have switched to three smaller meals but with more snacking. Except if I’m out. If I’m eating at, say, OMAW, well serve me up all of the fried chicken! (Just kidding, I’ll likely have one piece and bring the rest home. I’m a big fan of taking home half of my meal!).

(For more on my snacking strategy, though, check out this post. My snacking keeps me from getting hangry!)

The five meals a week plan from Eats by K also works for me, because I often have meals out for work or with friends, or I just want to eat something outside of the  meal plan. Two meals daily, six days a week, proved to be too many meals for me last time, but I could see how that’d be helpful for many people to have two healthy meals a day taken care of.

My fave meals from Karla (that’s the K in Eats by K!) so far include a deconstructed shepherd’s pie (a great comfort food with the autumn weather) and a honey dijon crusted pork tenderloin with sweet potato and corn. And I should mention that if you’re a calorie counter, you’ll appreciate that each Eats By K menu comes with a calorie count for each meal. This week’s meals range from 351 to 440 calories.

I’ll be posting more on my social media about my Sodastream stay-on-the-healthy-track plan; I’m looking for a way to top this strawberry basil sparkling water, which may be tough because it is delicious!

Leave a Comment October 17, 2016

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