How Sparkling Water Can Lower Blood Sugar

How Sparkling Water Can Lower Blood Sugar

We have all been there and know that spike and then crash and burn feeling we get after eating a high carb meal. But how can we avoid it while still enjoying some of the foods we love like pasta, bread and even cocktails.

I know it sounds to good to be true, but the makers of Good Idea Drinks, have found a solution. I had the chance to get a sample of these drinks and chat with founder Björn Öste. Keep reading to get the scoop on this sparkling water that can lower blood sugar.

Good Idea Drink

Good Idea Drink

In a nutshell, researchers found a connection between the intake of dairy and a relatively high insulin response. They found that the intake of whey before and with a meal rich in fast carbohydrates could substantially lower the blood sugar spike following a meal.

The effect was also observed with protein that contained the presence of five specific essential amino acids. Repeated meal studies confirmed that the effect on insulin and glucose response from whey could be mimicked by serving a drink containing a proportion of the five essential amino acids before and with the meal.

Good Idea Drinks

Good Idea Drinks

As an additional development of the concept, a small quantity of chromium was added. Chromium is well known by scientists to have an important role in blood glucose regulation. Taken together, it was hypothesized that a combination of amino acids and chromium would have a synergistic effect that would further improve the effect on blood sugar rise.

After creating this dink the researchers studies results consistently showed a typical reduction of 25-30% in blood sugar rise following a meal rich in carbohydrates, compared to placebo.

Good Idea Drinks Nutrition

Good Idea Drinks Nutrition

To get the full details of all of the science behind the drink and results of the study can be found on the Good Idea website as well as answers to some FAQ’s.

I had a few FAQ’s of my own and after my chat with Björn here is our Q&A session.

1. How did you come up with the idea for Good Idea Drinks? After learning of the research results from Lund University our company formed a collaboration to create the dink.

2. Can it help people with diabetes? Although it is not specifically targeted for that, it would be something to ask your doctor about to see if it might be a “good idea” to include it into your diet.

3. I have heard chromium can be used as a weight loss supplement. Can Good Idea drinks be used for weight loss? It is not marketed as a weight loss tool. However, studies have shown that chromium has shown to reduce the glycemic index which makes you eat less therefore could cause weight loss.

4.  Why does it taste sweet when there is no sugar in it? It is flavored using natural flavor.

5. What exactly is “Natural Flavor”? How do you make it? Where do you get it? Great question.

6. Would it be helpful to drink while eating a dessert? Yes.

8. Would it be good to use as a mixer in cocktails, as alcohol is considered a sugar and most drinks are made with sugary mixers or juices? Yes.

This sparkling water is a little sweet and definitely has the flavor. I loved the idea of making a cocktail with it and had a bunch of limes on hand so thought I would take a stab at creating a “Good Idea” Mojito.

Although, this mojito recipe does not have any actual sugar in it, this flavored sparkling water will help the spike caused by the sugars in the alcohol or added sugars should you decide to sweeten it up yourself. Details on how to do that are listed in the directions of the recipe.

mojito garnished

The Good Idea Mojito

I wish to thank Good Idea Drinks for the sample. For more information on the drinks or how to purchase them visit the Good Idea website.

Cover photo from Good Idea.

 

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Planetarians Sunflower Chips a High Protein Snack

Planetarians Sunflower Chips a High Protein Snack

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a product but when I received an email offering a sample of these high protein Planetarians Sunflower Chips, my interest was peaked.  The email noted, “Planetarians is developing high protein snacks for growing population from by-products of the food industry, without the need to grow more crops.”

I was like what? How does that work? I am always looking for a snack high in protein that doesn’t contain nuts so I asked for a sample.

Turns out, the chips are made from sunflower meal which is the by-product from the production of sunflower oil.  It’s referred to as an oil cake, which contains both protein and fiber.

I’m kinda on this kick about how much food waste is in our country. Although, there is not much one can do once the food is delivered to the masses, founder Aleh Manchuliantsau explains on the Planetarians website, that using by-products from the production of products (how’s that for a tongue twister) is a good place to start. I like his approach and hope there are others that will follow in his footsteps.

 

Planetarian Sunflower Chips

 

Now, back to the chips. Planetarians Sunflower Chips come in three flavors. Firey Sriracha, Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Sweetly Cinnamon. I got two packages of each in my sample pack. I’ve tried all three flavors and have to say they are all pretty good.

The crunchy texture of these bite-sized squares are a little grainy, but I wouldn’t say its bad, just different. Especially if you are expecting it to be like a greasy potato chip. They are definitely thicker, which makes them a hearty little snack.

 

Planetarian Sunflower Chips

I love sunflower seeds and sunflower butter. I would say these have a hint of sunflower seed taste but with the flavoring added you taste mostly that. The flavoring of the Sweet and Smokey BBQ definitely reminded me of the GUYS brand barbecue potato chips, which I haven’t had for years! These were a real a treat that brought back some fun memories of my youth! The Sriracha was not that fiery but had a good spicy flavor. I would say the Sweetly Cinnamon reminded me of the cinnamon and sugar toast I used to eat as a kid.

 

Planetarian Sunflower Chips

 

I try to eat pretty good most of the time and am always looking for healthier snack that is easy to take on the go. They do have some sugar in the seasoning, but they also contain protein and fiber, which is a little hard to find in crunchy snacks these days. Each flavor differs and you can find all the ingredients and nutritional information here.

Planetarian Sunflower Chips

 

My bottom line on these would be that although, the texture is not quite that of a potato chip, it does satisfy when you are craving that crunch. The taste satisfies when you craving something salty with the Sweet and Smokey BBQ and Fiery Sriracha flavors, while the Sweetly Cinnamon can cure a sweet tooth.

I would also consider these a transitioning food/snack. By that I mean if you are trying to eat healthier but still like some junk food, replace you snack attack item with Planetarians. It will satisfy the crunch and flavor you are craving while giving you a little more nutrition. If you have some young children or even not so young, try substituting these in place of their other chips and snacks and see if they like them. The pre-portioned packets make them super easy to grab on the go or throw in a lunch box.

If you are interested in trying Planetarians Sunflower Chips for yourself or family, the company is offering 25% off the 1st purchase on Amazon using code: 25cycled

Feel free to comment below if you have tried these and how you liked them.

Happy Snacking!

Sharm

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Chicken N Pickle ~ Kansas City

Chicken N Pickle ~ Kansas City

 

Chicken and Pickle

There is a new craze in sports and it’s called pickleball. I know it’s a crazy name for a game but it is so fun and I have become slightly addicted playing 11 hours a week!

Pickleball

So, for those of you who don’t know about pickleball, it is a combination of tennis, wiffle ball and life-size ping pong. My best description is that it is played on court similar to tennis but is smaller and the net is lower.

 

Your paddle resembles a large rectangle ping pong paddle and the ball looks like a wiffle ball.

 

Pickleball

 

Chicken N Pickle in Kansas City is spot on with this new craze. With a restaurant on one side and play area on the other.  The restaurant specializes in chicken of course and along with amazing food, offers indoor and outdoor pickleball courts. There is also a yard area with life-size versions of dominos, Battle Ship, Connect Four, Jenga, and dice. So even if you don’t play pickleball it is still a great place to hang out and have fun.

 

Chicken and Pickle

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken and Pickle

 

In addition to getting your pickleball fix, you can help a good cause as Chicken and Pickle are hosting a variety of charity dinners throughout the year.

 

For these events, head chef Alex Staab creates upscale gourmet dishes that you won’t find on the everyday menu. Each dish is prepaired using the kitchens rotisserie oven and paired and with a variety wines distributed by the Terra Firma Wine Company.

 

Chicken and Pickle

 

For this dinner, Chef Alex created dishes using wild boar, ravioli, field greens, lamb and pears. Talk about refined! As you can see by the pic of the menu and dishes, this was no ordinary chicken dinner!

 

wild boarRavioli lamb chop poached pearChicken and Pickle

 

The event I attended was for Jamies Wish Foundation who’s mission is to make a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer, by providing a more healing and comfortable environment for receiving infusions.

The dinner was amazing and the dishes elegant and refined. The wine pairings from Terra Firma paired perfectly. It was a delightful evening. The next event coming up is April 4 and will be a benefit for Wayside Waifs, one of Kansas City’s best no kill animal shelters. Information on tickets can be found here.

 

If you are into helping a great cause while enjoying a phenomenal dinner. You must attend a charity event at Chicken N Pickle. If you are just into having a great time, you must take a few pickleball lessons and spend some time on the court. Or simply gather some friends and play some games in the yard all while enjoying a great meal! Dishes on the menu include rotisserie chicken, a variety of salads and sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork and more! Chicken N Pickle can also host your next event.

For more information on the dinners, event planning  or playing pickleball visit Chicken N Pickle’s website.

 

 

 

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Giveaway from Larkburger ~ A Fast Casual Concept Perfect for the Whole Family

Giveaway from Larkburger ~ A Fast Casual Concept Perfect for the Whole Family

When Chef Thomas Salamunovch of the fine-dining restaurant Larkspur in Vail, Colorado had a desire to bring fine dining to the masses, the fast-casual concept of Larkburger was born.

Larkburger is a Colorado based fast-casual gourmet burger chain that is quickly expanding beyond it’s borders. Overland Park, Kansas is the first city outside of Colorado to score this restaurant which opened in early 2017.  Another location is in the works for the Missouri side just off of the County Club Plaza in Kansas City.

I recently had the chance to try it out thanks to a couple of “free burger” cards they sent me.

Guess what? They want to give you some too along with some other Larkburger swag. Two winners are eligible for that and details are below, but first here are the details on the menu and some really cool things you should know about Larkbrger.

The menu is diverse and a perfect place to take the whole family. From burgers to kale and a few things in between everyone can get something they like. I think one of my favorite options is the steamed edamame.

Larkburger Edamame. Chicken and Tuna burgers

Although, I am a sucker for fries, which are hand-cut in-house and are amazing, it is nice to have an unfired option when I am trying to cut back on calories.

The day I visited I had to grab a to go order for my son and I. The sweet girl taking my order was so patient with me as I could not decide what salad to get. I finally decided on the kale salad.

I knew my son would go for a burger but being the picky eater he is I knew I had to order it plain. I got him the traditional Larkburger with meat, cheese and bun which means he missed out on the special sauce which is made from scratch and what I think is the best part! All burgers are cooked to order at your desired temperature and of course served however you want it. All of Larkburgers sauces and dressings that accompany their array of burgers, sandwiches and salads are made in-house using only the freshest ingredients.

Although, I scored a bite of the burger which was tasty even without the sauce, I really enjoyed the kale salad and appreciate the diversity of the menu items Larkburger offers. It makes it super easy for carnivores and vegetarians alike to both order something that will satisfy their appetite. As I mentioned before it is great place to take the whole family. Not only do kids under 12 eat free on Monday’s with an adult purchase, it allows mom who may be watching what she eats get something satisfying when the rest of the family is craving burgers and fries.

I do need to mention that although a burger is going to have more calories then kale, you don’t need to feel as guilty if you indulge in one at Larkburger. The burgers are fresh and made from local Black Angus beef. That in itself is already going to be lower in calories than the average processed fast food burger that is shipped frozen from who know where.

Everything is fresh at Larkburger including the tomatoes which ripen in an in-house cabinet until they are at peak flavor and the house-cut fries are cooked in a trans free canola oil.

The Larkburger with Hand-Cut Fries

 

I recently attend a blogger event they had and got a little swag myself along with some tasty samples.

Larkburger Swag

 

Larkburger Chili

Larkburger Rocket Power Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larkburger Salted Caramel Shake

Apart from having great food, Larkburger is also kind to the environment and takes sustainability seriously.  Outside of the condiment packets and juice and milk cartons, everything is compostable. Every napkin, utensil, wrap, cup, bag, box and straw! The size of the restaurant trash can is no larger than a 9×13 baking dish. The space and decor is sleek and clean with the chairs made from recycled materials and the walls are reclaimed cypress wood. In addition, their fry oil is recycled and converted into alternative fuel and 100% of the electricity usage is offset by purchased wind credits.

Larkburger Decor

Larkburger also is committed to supporting local and will source beer and soda from the region the restaurant is in to serve at that location. For a list of all Larkburger location visit their website.

Now in order to get free burgers and swag from Larkburger all you have to do is comment below on how you top your burger!

Two winners will be drawn using random. org from the number of entries. Example first commenter is number on and so on. Contest ends midnight Monday, June 12.  Winners will be notified via email so be sure to leave a valid email with your comment. Good Luck!

 

 

Chicago Dining Guide for Local Fare

Chicago Dining Guide for Local Fare

This Chicago dining guide for local fare just highlights some of my favorite spots. If you are serious foodie like me and are spending the day in Chicago, I recommend adding these to your list to check out while visiting. Most of these places fill up quickly so it is best to get your reservation in at least a few days ahead of time if not weeks before dining.

Click on the restaurants link for directions, hours and menu information

Breakfast/Brunch: Farmhouse

The Farmhouse Chicago, Stuffed French Toast

The Farmhouse Chicago, Stuffed French Toast

This locally owned cafe is located a few minutes from downtown but feels like an old rustic small town cafe you might find in the middle of Iowa. The decor will take you back to your Grandma’s childhood kitchen with antique furnishings and appliances placed throughout the space. Dishes are prepared using local and seasonal ingredients from area producers as well as the restaurants owners farm.

Must try: Stuffed French Toast with extra syrup

Lunch: Fronterra Grill

Frontera Grill Sopecitos Rancheros

Fronterra Grill owned by Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless, is always on my list when visiting the windy city. The elevated Mexican fare is like non other. Rick is passionate about using produce and meats from local farms. The flavor combinations he uses in his dishes set Fronterra Grill apart from any other Mexican restaurants I have tried.

Must try: Sopecitos Rancheros

Snack: Garret’s Popcorn Shop

A visit to Chicago is not complete without a visit to the iconic Garrett’s Popcorn Shop. Once in the door the caramel corn aroma will have your mouth watering. I prefer the Almond Caramel Crisp, but the Garrett Mix that combines sweet Caramel Crisp with savory Cheese Corn is the most popular.

Must try: Garret’s Mix

Dinner: The Girl and The Goat

The Girl and The Goat

Get your reservation in early for The Girl and The Goat owned by celebrity chef Stephanie Izzard.  The dishes are served family style, which make them ideal for sharing. Most come in the “small plate” format so it is ideal to go with a group to try a variety of things. The restaurant serves only dinner and opens at 4:30 pm. This makes a great spot if you are need of dining late as it does not close until 11 pm Sunday – Thursday and 12 am Friday and Saturday.

Must try: Chickpea Fritter

The Girl and The Goat, Chickpea Fritter

The Girl and The Goat, Chickpea Fritter

 

Perfecting the Pizza Crust with Pizzeria Locale

Perfecting the Pizza Crust with Pizzeria Locale

The pizza crust at Pizzeria Locale is perfectly crispy and chewy thanks to the unique wood-fired oven used in the restaurant.

This method of cooking ensures the classic Neapolitan style pizza found in Italy.

Pizzeria Locale is the brainchild of Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, who own Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. The name Frasca comes from Italy where Frascas are what Italians call their neighborhood restaurants.

With the success of Frasca, Patterson and Stuckey opened Pizzeria Locale next door to Frasca and it became a successful full service restaurant as well. With the help of friend Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle, they figured out how to make it a fast casual concept while still preserving the old-world flavor.

Kansas City has benefitted from the success of the local Boulder chain as they have expanded by opening three locations in the KC metro. Two are in Overland Park and the other is in KC close to Waldo.

There a few secrets to getting the perfect Neapolitan style pizza in just minutes and the first starts with the pizza crust.

I was lucky enough to attend a dough making class at the135th Street location in Overland Park and had a blast.

Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson was there himself teaching us the tips and tricks to the perfect dough.

You will want to plan ahead for pizza night as once the dough is made it needs to sit overnight. You can find the pizza crust recipe here.

 

If you want to make homemade pizza but just don’t have the time to make made-from-scratch dough, just give the Pizzeria Locale that is closest to you a call and tell them you want some dough balls. They will hook you up with fresh pizza dough. If you get your dough to go, get your favorite pizza toppings together and follow steps 11 through 16.

I highly recommend grabbing some Nutella and take a stab at recreating their Nutella dessert pizza. It is so good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second secret to the amazing pizza at Pizzeria Locale is using top quality ingredients. They even have in house slicer that slices fresh prosciutto to order.

There are classic pizzas on the menu to order and mine is the spicy chicken, But with fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and other fresh veggies and meats your choices are endless, allowing you to build your perfect pie!

Pizzeria Locale Menu

Lastly is the oven and method of baking. To achieve the wood-fired brick oven bake in just minutes, takes Pizzeria Locale’s state-of-the-art oven, engineered specifically for them. It simulates the cooking experience of old-world Italy, but in a way that meets the needs of a fast casual concept restaurant.

Pizzeria Locale’s Oven

The oven works by sending your made-to-order pizza on a journey around a center flame on a rotating hearth. This bakes the pizza on all sides and in three and a half minutes, your pizza is done!

Spicy Chicken Pizza

I was in Italy a few months ago and had my share of pizza. I have to say, the pizza at Pizzeria Locale is just as good as some I had in Florence and Pisa.

If you have not had the chance to check it out, I encourage you to stop in and create you perfect pie. Then take a stab at pizza night at home using their fabulous crust recipe.

Locations in KC include:

11875 W. 95TH STREET, OVERLAND PARK, KS
11AM-10PM DAILY (913) 438-9262

6455 W. 135TH STREET, OVERLAND PARK, KS
11AM-10PM DAILY (913) 851-5975

505 W. 75TH ST, KANSAS CITY, MO
11AM-10PM DAILY (816) 523-1161

In Good Taste,
Sharm