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.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Tips on Adjusting to a Move for Children and Adults

Tips on Adjusting to a Move for Children and Adults

Moving at any age can be quite an adjustment as I have learned from personal experience. The end of this article will have few tips from me on how I am coping with my own personal move as an empty nester.

But first, for parents with children, Boston-area realtor, former educator, children’s book author, and parent, Julie Etter has some valuable advice for families to navigate process of moving. Below you can read about her new book, “You’ve Survived the Move . . . Now What?”

Julie-Etter-Book

You’ve Survived the Move . . .  Now What?
By Julie Etter

The house hunting is done, the boxes are all in, and you are in your new home! All is perfect, right?  It will be, but may not be just yet!  In reality, the next chapter has just begun, and you want to write it carefully. Settling into your new house can be an exciting experience, but don’t overlook the necessary steps to make it “HOME.”  Here are a few quick steps to making that house a home to ensure everyone is on board with setting up the space to best accommodate your family.

 

  • Let the children have a say in some décor—perhaps it’s a paint color for their room, or input on the wall where the couch will be positioned.  Your children’s involvement will add a delightful personal touch. It’s now HOME.

 

  • Offer some consistency. Yes, it’s a new house and fresh start, but did you have a staple painting in the last eating area? Was the snack cabinet set up a certain way? You will find there are natural things you do for your set-up (e.g., glasses go in the cabinet above the dishwasher), but don’t overlook the chance to create consistency in areas that are seemingly insignificant to you because they offer familiarity to the children.

 

  • Be efficient and get settled as soon as possible. This is easier said than done. You are exhausted from the move. Oh, and you still have jobs and a family to take care of. However, the sooner the house is settled (you know, the “main” stuff . . . your box of high school trophies that has followed you for years can stay unpacked), the sooner the kids will acclimate. Children are resilient; the sooner they can depend on stability in their surroundings, the sooner they can get comfortable.

 

  • Have a party! Big or small.  Celebrate the new home. Regardless of why you moved and if this home is bigger, smaller, better or worse, it’s yours! Celebrate new beginnings. Also, make a specific point of paying attention to the things your kids point out to guests—you will find they will be very open while giving a tour.  Take note of the positives you can further accentuate or the “negatives” you could improve based on their perception.

Finally, and most importantly, give yourself a pat on the back. You are on the other end of the move and despite the late nights, details, and boxes, you are in. Your kids know how hard you worked; time to enjoy with them . . . after you give yourself another cup of coffee!!

Julie Etter is a professional, national award-winning realtor and former middle-school teacher based in Wrentham, MA. She is the author of Lily and Andrew Are Moving (Hardcover, $14.95; Kindle, $11.99), published by JT Publications, LLC. For more information, visit www.treehousebuddies.com

I so wish there was adult version of this book. It would have been helpful in my case. My move came right at the same time both my kiddos who are only 13 months a part, left for college. I was a stay at home mom and all of the sudden found myself alone in a new city. I was a bit of hot mess and am still working on things. I am in no means an expert, and I am sure there could be material out there concerning this topic for adults. For some reason I never thought to look into something like this for adults until I got this information about the book.

Although, this book is geared toward children, I thought since we are addressing the topic there might be some adults expiring anxiety from moving like I did and still do from time to time. In the meantime, while I do some research on finding an adult version concerning moving, I thought I would share some things that have helped me in the in the four years we have been in our new home.

My husband travels quite a bit for work and being an empty nester, I tag along quite often. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend packing your bag and tagging along. Even if you will be stuck at a hotel all day, it is better than sitting home alone.

Join a gym, club or community center. I know you won’t feel like it, but exercise is key to get you out of the funk you may be in. We joined a country club that has a fitness facility and it has changed our lives. Not only can we work out, the club offers a variety of activities and social gatherings where we have met some great people.

Learn to play pickleball. I know this sounds silly but it is one of the best things I have ever gotten involved in. It is still a fairly new sport, but many community centers and parks around the US are catching pickleball fever. There are often mens, ladies and mixed groups that play on certain days and times. It’s a super easy sport to learn and a great way to make new friends and socialize. It is a combination of tennis and life-size ping pong. You can read more about the game here.

Try to find other people that are new to the area as well. We have made a few friends that were in the same situation as us and to have someone that is experiencing the same thing, definitely forms a bond of some sorts. I am so grateful for these new friends. We call ourselves a “framily” because you need people around you who are like family and can help each other out.

If it is relevant to your beliefs, find a church. We are still working on this one…..

Lastly, get yourself some help or medication if you need. I have done both, I can’t say the counseling helped me much.  It almost made me sadder in a way talking about home and my kids. I tried Zoloft and did not like it. You can read about my experience with that here. I switched to Wellbutrin about a year and a half ago and have to say I feel much better on it.

Again, I am no expert but do know what it’s like to be in new city alone. If you find yourself in the same situation I hope some of these tips will help you out.  Please feel free to comment or email me with any tips, questions, comments you have or just want a friendly shoulder to lean on.

Sharm

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Getting Fit After 40 ~ Month One

Getting Fit After 40 ~ Month One

I promised I would send updates on my progress using the Pancakes and Push-Ups program by Sloane Davis. You can read about what I am doing here.

Things are going well and I am seeing results. My weight is fluctuating and somedays the scale says I have lost five pounds while other days it only looks like about two. I am okay with that because I can see some changes with how my clothes are fitting and in the mirror. My legs are still my focus area and still look quite wavy but I have lost a half inch off my thighs and a half inch off my hips.

 

I am a little discouraged as I think a lot of the waviness is loose skin from being heavier and then loosing weight. I am hoping they will tighten up.

With seeing some physical changes but my weight not drastically changing, I am hoping I am putting on some muscle. I will probably go in for a DEXA scan soon to see what has changed since my last one.

The food on the program is measured in macronutrients, The My Fitness Pal App allows you to see your macronutrients in grams so it is fairly easy to track.

I have gotten a little stricter with my eating, although the fats get me in trouble, even though they are good fats! I love avocados and nuts. I am trying to eat less meat so getting enough protein has been tricky. I don’t do much dairy but I do love cheese, especially goat and feta which can get me in trouble if I eat too much.

Most of my protein is coming from egg whites, protein powder, nuts, quinoa, a collagen supplement and some chicken once a week. I have cut out most grains but get carbs from fruits, veggies and some beans and lentils.

My favorite breakfast is egg whites with some avocados and veggies.

I recently made a vegetarian stir fry and mixed in cauliflower rice instead of a grain.

My favorite smoothie is my PB&J. You can find the recipe here.

Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie

I would say my biggest vice is the weekend by the pool and social events where the wine and cocktails are flowing. I try to only have one or two drinks and will not eat any fruit on the days when I know I will have something to drink.

I mean how can you not have a drink at the pool when you have a floatmingo! I do want to make a disclaimer that I really was drinking water at the time this photo was taken but will admit I did have wine that night!

I’ve got a good friend and we have made up our own eating plan that we are calling the Slow 30. It is much like the Whole 30 way of eating except we get to have wine on the weekend and a few no foods (like beans, cheese and quinoa) a couple times a week.

My workouts are consistent. I’ve got a group I train with 3 days a week and every session is different much like a cross fit type work. While I am already out I will go lift the weights listed on the program.

Since the pool is open, I have been throwing in some water aerobics a couple times a week. I am learning how to play pickle ball and have lessons twice a week.

I have a good friend that I meet with once a week and we climb 10 sets of stadium stairs at Wichita State University and then take 4 laps around the track.

So needless to say there is not much time for blogging, hence the sporadic posts.

It is a grueling workout but always feels good when it’s done, although my calves are sore for a few days after!

I’m thinking with all this exercise and my weight not drastically dropping that I am putting on some muscle! At least I hope that is the case! I need to get someone to take some more pictures so I can compare the progress. Hopefully I will get that done soon and share them in my next progress update.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions about my workouts or diet.

Sharm

The Fat Burning Margarita

The Fat Burning Margarita

This fat burning mocktail with apple cider vinegar will get your morning off to a great start and make your digestion system happy too.

I have been hearing a lot lately about apple cider vinegar and how it can help boost your metabolism. I was just shooting it strait in a shot glass, until I went on Tosca Reno’s Wellness Retreat. That is where I learned about Wetter Water. The addition of salt adds electrolytes and the lemon or lime juice makes it quite a bit more palatable and helps add some vitamin C into your diet.

I have been trying to drink this consistently for the past month along with eating pretty clean and it has help me shed about 5 pounds. My girlfriend and I are following a plan we are calling the Slow 30.  It is a program we made up that follows the Whole 30 way of eating with the addition of having a cocktail or wine on the weekend. I have also been lifting heavier weights using a program by Pancakes and Pushups.

I have finally got my husband drinking it and he is dropping weight as well. He loves cocktails so I have named this drink the Wetter Water Margarita. Fresh lemons or limes are best when available but you could certainly use bottled juice. Just make sure there is no sugar in it.  I have a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and throw a shot of that in the concotion when I am out of fruit. Be sure and buy the apple cider vinegar that says “with the mother” on the label. The amount of water in the recipe is just a recommended amount. I can drink it pretty strong and like to get down so I only use about a half cup of water. If that seems to strong for you, feel free to dilute it your liking by adding more water.

If you want to shed a few pounds adding a Wetter Water Margarita to your daily regimen of healthy eating and exercise will help.

Wetter Water Margarita
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Servings: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 whole fresh lemon or lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with the mother
  • 1/2-1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in glass of choice. Mix well and drink.

 

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Getting Fit After 40 with Pancakes and Pushups

Okay friends, so I have been invited by Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups to try out her Kickstarter plan to get me fit after 40, which is actually 46 in my case….

This is way out of my comfort zone but I feel like sharing my journey of getting fit with you, will help keep me accountable. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time.  And by shape I don’t really mean losing weight.  I am fairly happy with what I weigh as it is the normal range with my height of 5’10. At least that is what those doctors charts say. But as you can see by the pic, which I cannot believe I am sharing, there is not much muscle tone and I am looking pretty flabby!

My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage and gain muscle and definition.  I am going for a certain look not weight! With muscle weighing more than fat, it is possible my weight could go up and I am okay with that as long as I am seeing the changes in my body shape. One of my main goals is to get rid of these craters and dimples that have overtaken my thighs as you can see in the pics below, which I can’t believe I am sharing either!!  I’m thinking I also need to see a vein doctor because as you can see,  things are not looking good!

So this is where I get open and honest with you. I have had a little “work done” to help with some of the body changes. After having my kids in 1993 and 1994 and still being asked 5 years later if I was pregnant, was the last straw for me.  I was determined to lose the weight and did.

After the weight loss, there was a lot of loose skin just hanging around so I had a tummy tuck in June of 2000.  It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and if you are contemplating having one, do it! You will not be sorry. Now I’m not going to lie, the recovery is fairly intense but is short lived considering the long term benefit. Just make sure you have a good caregiver to help you for a week or so after.

Having the tummy tuck boosted my self confidence and motivated me to lose even a little more weight by working out and learning how to eat right using the Eat Clean Diet® by Tosca Reno whom I love and adore. I recently attended a wellness retreat she hosted that you can read about here. I am set to go to another one in October, you should come too! Get those details here.

Since then even while restaurant and food blogging, I have been able to stay in fairly decent shape, that was until September of 2013. That is when my husbands job moved us from Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS., which I thought I could handle but was wrong.

Not only did we move but, both of our kids went away to college and after being a stay at home mom for 19 years, I was quite thrown for a loop and did not adjust well to the changes. We moved in September of 2013. I could barley eat and was not in a good place emotionally.

I lost about 10 pounds of weight but it was from not eating so my lean mass disappeared. My husbands new job required quite a bit of travel and since I had no reason to stay in Wichita alone, I would tag along. Overtime my appetite came back. A lot of the travel included dinners and events that had plenty of cocktails and wine at arms length. I did continue to exercise but not enough to out train my bad diet of overindulging in the food and wine. I was also taking Zoloft which causes weight gain and I am sure some hormonal changed did not help either. By the spring of  2016, I was 20 pounds heavier than when we moved. Then factoring in the 10 pounds I had lost in the first few months after we moved that was 30 pounds I had gained over the course of 2 1/2 years.

By summer of 2016,  I was having to buy all new clothes because nothing fit! Enough was enough and it was time for a change.  Since September 2016, I have been working on losing the extra weight.  I did an extreme diet earlier this year. It was a supervised program through a doctor that is supposed to preserve muscle and burn fat. I have been doing body composition scans since September of 2016 to monitor my progress. The scan breaks down your body weight into how much is fat mass and how much is lean mass or muscle.

To really find out if the theory of this diet that claims to preserve the muscle while burning the fat was true, I did a scan before and after. My goal was to lose 10 pounds which I did in 19 days. Although I had lost weight, I was quite depressed as the results of my post diet scan showed only 3 pounds of it was fat and the other 7 lost was lean mass.

I found out about Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups through an email that shared some tips on staying fit while traveling. I travel all the time and really liked what she had to say and shared that info here. She invited me to try one of her programs and after my disaster of a diet and my desire to build back some muscle, I am super excited to give it a try.

The plan that I am doing is 12 weeks long. I will be posting updates on my blog and social sites of my progress so be sure to join my newsletter and follow my social media to get the latest updates. Better yet join me! You can find out about Sloane’s programs here.

Wish me luck!