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’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!
March 14, 2017
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.
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!
October 17, 2016
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…
August 19, 2016