Tag Archives: stevia

Honest Fizz Organic, Zero Calorie Soda Giveaway!

Honest Tea

About Honest Fizz:

“Honest Fizz features a tasty blend of two sweeteners – stevia and erythritol. Stevia, a plant originally from South America, has been used as a sugar substitute for hundreds of years. We blend it with erythritol (a sugar alcohol) for the perfect one-two punch of zero-calorie deliciousness.”

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My Thoughts:

I see these drinks as a much healthier swap for traditional soda that is loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. The soda habit is the first bad habit that I would encourage anyone to kick (traditional soda–that is!). One of these Honest Fizz drinks every day will help satisfy your craving for something bubbly without ramping up your body’s acidity & size of your waistline.

Honest Tea wants to give TWO of you a case of Honest Fizz!

To Enter:

-Simply comment below and tell me why these drinks appeal to you!

I will e-mail the winners by 4/22!

 

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Botan Non-GMO Pea Protein Drink Review

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Botan

Overall Rating: 3.5 STARS

About Botan:

There’s nothing like a bottle of BOTAN.

BOTAN Protein Drink is an innovative plant-based beverage that delivers 12 grams of soluble vegetable protein and vitamin goodness, with just 110 slim calories, in every bottle. At BOTAN, we believe that plant-based nutrition is the key to health—for your body and for the planet. BOTAN beverages provide sustainable protein and vitamins—nature’s powerhouses that won’t weigh you down, are easy for your body to assimilate, and will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Our Mission and Vision.

We believe plant-based nutrition is the sustainable choice for the future—for the future of our food, the planet, and for more than 7 billion inhabitants. Our vision was to create the ultimate plant-based beverage designed to deliver the highest quality soluble vegetable protein to everyone who cares about their health and the health of the planet—and we’ve done just that with BOTAN. So whether you’re a surfer, cyclist, or yoga enthusiast looking for a pre- or post-workout performance drink, or a busy person on the go who wants clean fuel for your body, choose BOTAN—it’s the pure choice. Our mission is to provide the finest nutritional plant protein beverages unlike any other—beverages that are delicious and refreshing, without compromising on our commitment to your health or to the health of the planet.

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What’s in the Bottle?

First, notice the glass bottle. More expensive than plastic, but it’s sustainable and it won’t contaminate the nutrients or flavor of our BOTAN beverages. We never compromise, and we don’t think you should have to, either. Our unique formulation makes BOTAN’s patented plant protein 100% soluble. We blend this vital plant goodness with essential vitamins B-6, B-12, and C, in three tasty flavor combinations: Strawberry Cucumber, Cherry Tomato, and Pineapple Coconut. GMOs, soy, whey, dairy, gluten, artificial flavors, and preservatives? Never! At BOTAN, quality is in our DNA. Our distinctive beverages combine the best natural ingredients to quench your thirst, refuel you after a workout, and give you a nourishing boost of protein to keep you energized throughout the day. Our proprietary formula makes BOTAN the first and only ready-to-go nutritional beverage to use soluble vegetable protein. Great for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone who wants a healthy alternative to beverages made from ingredients that are hard to pronounce. BOTAN offers hydration, nutrition, and botanical protein as pure and delicious as nature herself—BOTAN, Healthy…by Nature®

Our Commitment to Sustainability.

We believe that the future of health and the future of food go hand-in-hand. We are doing our
part to ensure that our future is a sustainable one and this is one of the many reasons we chose plant-based nutrition for BOTAN. In addition, we chose glass for our bottles—it’s clean, renewable, recyclable, and reusable—and it will not change the flavor of BOTAN’s delicious protein beverage. The future of our world is dependent upon clean food, air, and water and at BOTAN, we believe plant-based nutrition is the only sustainable option. As a conscious consumer, we know you share these values, too. That’s why we offer you the finest plant-based protein beverage in convenient glass bottles—it’s nutrition as nature intended.

Ingredients:

Filtered water, Organic Apple Juice, Concentrate Pea Protein Powder, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Organic Fruit and Vegetable Juice (Color), Stevia Extract, Monk Fruit Extract, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamine B12 (Cyanocobalamin).”

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My Thoughts:

Though these may seem like any ol’ drink, Botan drinks are actually pretty unique. It’s a drink that has a juice like consistency, yet has a significant protein content (via pea protein).

The taste of Botan drinks is definitely unique and unexpected. Pea protein (to me) has a pretty pronounced flavor–and you can taste that it’s in there. The Strawberry Cucumber takes the crown in terms of flavor, with Pineapple Coconut in second place and Mini Tomato in third.

I like the fact that you can drink one of these and not feeling like you just guzzled loads of sugar. It’s got a balanced amount of carbohydrates and protein, and that’s not always easy to find in a drink.

I also dig on the fact that they’ve chosen to bottle in glass. That’s how I’d do it!

The things I do not like about this drink are:

-The use of “natural flavors”–I have an aversion to seeing that on a label. What the heck is it? Label it accordingly! Tell me what it REALLY is.

-How all of the ingredients are not organic

-None of the ingredients appear to be raw (meaning less nutritional value)

I truly love the idea of this product, the taste is pretty good (though to be honest, it may an acquired taste), but I’d like to see all raw & organic ingredients for me to be a regular customer.

Camelbak Mantra Powder Drink Mix Review

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Camelbak Mantra

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Camelbak Mantra:

“NATURAL INGREDIENTS: No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners.

ZERO CALORIES: Made with the natural sweetener stevia

LESS WASTE: Great tasting drink mix is designed for reusable bottles

CONVENIENT: Powder stick packs are great for hydrating on-the-go

ENHANCING: Antioxidants, vitamins and electrolytes replenish as you hydrate

FULL INGREDIENT LIST for Blueberry Pomegranate (for example): Monopotassium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Citrate, Magnesium Lactate, Citric Acid, Stevia Leaf Extract, Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid, Niacinamide, Retinol Acetate, Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, and Cyanocobalamin.”

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My Thoughts:

The Camelbak brand is invaluable to my family’s vigor for nature and being outdoors. We love all of our Camelbak backpacks as well as the water bottles–of course, I’m a big fan of the fact that they are all BPA-free. This large purple Eddy bottle is perfect for our little girl her fluid capacity gradually increases. It’s a bit bigger than the kid’s Eddy and is great for long days or trips away from our home water filter.

As far as electrolyte replacement and hydration goes, I’m very easily to please. Water does it for me. I drink only water before and after activity, with the occasional squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lemon essential oil into my water bottle. I don’t naturally gravitate towards sports drinks or mixes. If I try them, my standards are pretty high. I want the ingredient list to be chock full of recognizable, whole food ingredients.

In the case of Mantra, it’s tough for me to stand behind a product that does not use organic ingredients. I do believe it to be a large step in the right direction (and better than the big lines of sports drinks–not naming names) for these Camelbak Mantra powder mixes to be free of artificial ingredients, colors and sweeteners– & I like the choice to use stevia in these mixes. However, to make it into my daily routine, these ingredient lists would have to look much more appealing and recognizable.

I appreciate the idea of this product, but in actuality–the ingredients are not up to par for this running girl.

 

NuNaturals Review & Giveaway

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Nu Naturals

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

About Nu Naturals:

“Thank you for taking the time to get to know us better. We have over 24 years of experience providing nutritional supplements. NuNaturals uses only the highest quality herbs and nutrients to make our products. We belong to the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA).

Look around our site and see what we have to offer. You’ll find full descriptions of all of our products and their respective prices. We also have links that will take you to other web sites. They have important information about nutritional products and our industry. Enjoy our site and if you have any questions or comments, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

We take lot of pride in supporting sustainable “Green” business practices. You may have noticed many of our shipping containers utilize so called “Packing Peanuts”, however several years ago we converted to a more environmentally conscious packing material using a VEGTABLE STARCH product that completely dissolves in water.

If you are having trouble finding our products you can now order direct from us online. While our products are sold in over 9,000 stores in the United States, we realize that there is only so much shelf space available and not all our products get on the shelf. If your favorite product is not available in your stores and would like the convenience of having it there when you want it, ask your store to stock it. If this is not possible, we are here to serve you 24 hours a day!”

Powdered Stevia (Packets & Bottle Form)

About:

“White Stevia™ Extract Powder contains the flowing agent maltodextrin, a food grade carbohydrate derived from grain. Tasteless, maltodextrin is the perfect medium to use with the extract, making it easier to measure. This form is perfect for sprinkling on cereal, yogurt as well as mixing in beverages. One quarter to three quarters of a teaspoon is the recommended serving.

White Stevia Powder contains 60% more Stevia extract than most other brands on the market. The cost to get the same sweet taste of other brands can be up to 2 1/2 times more expensive compared to NuNaturals. NuNaturals White Stevia Powder will save you money.”

Liquid Stevia (Various Flavors)

About:

“NuNaturals has developed this easy to use liquid that allows the most accurate measurement of Stevia Extract. This liquid is so concentrated, that only 5-10 drops are needed.

Our Pure Liquid Clear NuStevia Extract contains 200 mg per ml and is in a base of vegetable glycerine and 20% pure grain alcohol. Clear Stevia comes in a 2 oz bottle. Great for teas and other beverages.”

Reb99 Stevia

About:

“NuStevia Reb99™ is a pure extract of the Stevia plant. 99.8% of Rebaudioside-A(Reb-A) is extracted. Reb99™ is a very high grade Stevia extract. NuStevia Reb99 has a very clean taste profile with no unpleasant aftertaste as other Reb-A extracts can have. This is a powder extract. This form is excellent for mixing up large batches of beverages or for recipes. It is our most economical form of Stevia to use.

This product is packaged in a 1 oz plastic bag. There are 810 servings. A serving size is 1/64 of a teaspoon which tastes as sweet as 1 teaspoon of sugar. 3/4 teaspoon equals 1 cups of sugar in terms of sweetness.

NuNaturals Pure NuStevia Extract contains absolutely no calories or carbohydrates. NuStevia Reb99 should have no effect on blood sugar levels for most individuals.”

Powdered Tagatose

About:

“PreSweet Tagatose is safe for diabetics because it will not raise blood sugar levels. It is also being studied for other health benefits.

One of the health benefits of PreSweet is that it is a prebiotic ingredient. Prebiotics feed probotic bacteria like acidopholis found in yogurt. Prebiotics help the good bacteria in the digestive system multiply. This improves the overall health of the digestive system and may improve the general health of the body.

PreSweet Tagatose is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in milk, fruits and vegetables. It is 92% as sweet as sugar. PreSweet is a low calorie (6 calories/serving), low GI (3 on the glycemic index), and low in carbohydrates (especially considering that many of the carbohydrates are not digested).

PreSweet is anti-hyperglycemic and great for those on weight loss programs because it will satsify your sweet tooth without adding the calories that sugar will.

Unlike sugar alcohols like Xylitol and Erythritol, PreSweet Tagatose browns like sugar. Because it brown quicker and darker than sugar, you might consider blending it with other sweeteners in cakes and cookies or reduce baking time.

While Xylitol has a unique cooling taste and Erythritol has a distinctive taste, Tagatose as a very clean, neutral taste like sugar.”

Oat Fiber

About:

“NuGrain™ Oat Fiber is naturally produced from food-grade oat hulls through a proprietary process. This is a chemical-free process, turning organic hulls into various organic fibers. Oat fiber has many uses in baked goods, adding to smoothies, porridge, and other recipes where you want to boost the fiber content of the foods your eat.

Substitute 3 tablespoons NuGrains™ Oat Fiber for every 8 servings per recipe. For example if recipe yields 24 cookies and serving size is 3 cookies, then substitute 3 tablespoons for flour in your recipe.”

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My Thoughts:

I was initially impressed at the wide range of products that Nu Naturals provides. I am a fan of using stevia as a sweetener, versus always using sugar, honey or agave. It’s essentially a zero calorie sweetener that is naturally derived from the stevia plant, so it’s great to use in moderation if you are looking to stay fit & lean. As with any other food, you can overdo stevia. I don’t recommend using this all day, every day. Balance is key.

Nu Naturals products are Non-GMO, but they are not certified organic. However, I’ve been filled in on the story behind this:

“We absolutely use no pesticides or any chemicals & test our products to be assured of this. We just do not go to the huge expense of organic certification.”

I find this to be the case for some brands. Gaining an organic certification is very drawn own, expensive process. Thus, many companies do not see this certification as something they wish to attain.

I have enjoyed have stevia in various forms and flavors to use in my daily treats & drinks. My favorite ways to use these Nu Naturals products have been:

-Adding the liquid peppermint stevia to peppermint leaf tea.

-Adding the powdered stevia to baked goods (organic & gluten free muffins, cakes, cookies, etc.)

-Experimenting with using tagatose in baked goods.

-Adding the liquid vanilla stevia to my vanilla protein shakes.

-Making an “oat fiber cleanse” drink with the oat fiber. I simply add a tablespoon of the oat fiber to a large glass of water. It helps me get a good dose of fiber and also helps curb my appetite.

Nu Naturals products are an above average route to go to when looking for healthy sweeteners and baking aids. I would stand behind this brand more firmly if I knew that they used organic practices in growing their stevia, oats, etc.

Nu Naturals would like FOUR of you to try some of these products as well! To enter, simply comment below and fill me in on what sweeteners you typically reach for and why.

Here are the products you will win (along with one bonus product!):

NuStevia 50 Packets Top Angle NuStevia Cocoa Syrup NuStevia NoCarbs Spice Jar w Cap Vanilla Stevia Alcohol Free 2 oz  Liquid

Also, you can receive DISCOUNTS on all orders placed on their website :  www.nunaturals.com. When you get to our checkout page, enter the DISCOUNT CODE ;  BLG1214  and you will receive – 15% DISCOUNT on their ENTIRE ORDER. This discount remains EFFECTIVE UNTIL  DECEMBER 31, 2014. Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U.S. on all orders exceeding $35.00 after discounts.

Head on over to Nu Natural’s Facebook page a “like” them to show your support and get their posts on your news feed.

This giveaway will conclude on Wednesday, July 2nd, on which I will notify the winners via e-mail. Thanks for participating!

Zevia Stevia Soda Review

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Zevia Stevia-Sweetened Soda

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

About Zevia:

“In 2007, amidst the rainy backdrop of Seattle, Zevia Zero Calorie Soda was born. Sharing our first flavors, naturally sweetened ColaLemon Lime Twist and Orange soda with the world became our mission, and we were welcomed with open arms; the good soda love was spreading as people made it clear they were ready for smarter choices.

Zevia was embraced by people all around the world but none we knew better than our fans in the Pacific Northwest, as it was home. However, cold soda & hot sun seemed like a perfect fit so we up and moved to Los Angeles! Southern California became our new home, but a big part of our heart is still in Seattle. Our family of soda loving people has grown right along with the world’s passion for Zevia. So what to do when you have more Z team members? Make more soda, of course!

While our team has almost doubled in the last year, so has our commitment to our incredibly loyal and vocal customers. For us, this means listening to the most important people to our company – you! In early 2013, we heard you loud and clear, and the call for glass bottles was answered with great enthusiasm! Cherry Cola,ColaCream SodaGinger AleGrape and Ginger Root Beer can now be enjoyed in a classic glass bottle, in addition to cans.

Our momentum hasn’t slowed. In fact, 2013 has been our biggest year yet! In the second quarter of 2013, we broke our own records, selling an astonishing 17 million cans throughout April, May and June! That’s a lot of soda, and tons of sugar grams avoided! What’s more, we were ranked 17th amongst 20 diet soda brands and were the only independent brand among them! You might say 17 is our new lucky number!

With a commitment to continuous improvement and natural sweetener innovation, we have now “cracked the code” on something truly special!  We’ve added Monk Fruit to our sodas to make them even better tasting!  We call this winning combination of natural sweeteners, SweetSmart. While Stevia still provides most of the sweetness you taste in Zevia, the addition of Monk Fruit to our existing formulas complements our Stevia and enhances our soda’s overall sweetness while reducing any of that Stevia aftertaste you may have noticed before. Still zero calories and zero glycemic index, just a little smarter!  Make the jump to read more about SweetSmart, you smarty pants…

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT ZEVIA?

With natural products, being healthy isn’t enough – a product has to taste great, and also be healthy, to really be a compelling alternative. At Zevia, we really believe that we’ve created a better soda.

And we’re fortunate that our fans are vocal. Every day, we receive letters, emails and calls from folks who have just discovered Zevia, and are thrilled to have a product they can feel good about consuming every day.

One of the most fun things about working at Zevia is sharing our products with people who used to drink soda and stopped, or in some cases always avoided soda for health reasons. Kids are the most fun of all – we meet lots of kids who’ve never had soda in their lives, because it was banned in their household, and to watch their faces when they try Zevia for the first time is priceless.

Similarly, people with diabetes, people seeking to lose weight or control their weight, or people who just want to live a healthier life really light up when they discover our product.

We don’t think that soda should be a “four-letter word,” and we’re out to change the way people think about soda by providing a healthy option that tastes great.”

My main interest in every food or supplement I try is the ingredient list. Sure, taste is great, but I won’t be eating/drinking it regularly if I don’t believe in the ingredients. Here is a little bit more information on a few less-recognizable ingredients in Zevia Soda:

WHAT IS NATURAL?

In our opinion, natural means nothing fake, phony or artificial. No artificial sweeteners, colors, junk. Only the good soda stuff. None of the bad. We use only the best ingredients to make our beverages. So you can drink this diet soda knowing it’s been made with love and care.

WHAT IS ERYTHRITOL?

While only 3% percent of the sweetness you taste in Zevia is from Erythritol, this natural sweetener plays an important role in SweetSmart, our next generation sweetening system. Erythritol is one of those ingredients that we love but shouldn’t judge by its overly scientific sounding name. A natural component of fruits, vegetables and grains, Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol, even though it is neither sugar nor alcohol. It is derived from fruits and vegetables through a natural fermentation process, much like that of yogurt and has absolutely no calories and no effect on blood glucose levels.

WHAT IS ZEVIA?

Soda. Pretty plain and simply, Zevia is soda but smarter. Zevia was created with the miracle ingredient, stevia, which makes it all natural and zero calories. Never any sugar or artificial sweeteners mean it’s a healthier soda for you and those that you love.

WHAT IS STEVIA?

A miracle plant. We think so anyway. Stevia is a little green plant from the sunflower family and originally native to South America. The stevia leaf is up to 200x sweeter than sugar but has no caloric value or effect on blood sugar levels. Natural and zero calories? Yep! Smarter sweetener? You betcha. Worthy of a trophy? We think so.”

My Thoughts:

Traditional soda is one of the very first things I stopped consuming several years ago (when I was in middle school) when I made a conscious effort to fuel my body like a serious athlete. However, Zevia is a step in the right direction with this soda-drinking epidemic. This is a much better alternative to both traditional soda and diet soda–both of which are rich in JUNK.

The flavors that I enjoyed the most were the Cream Soda and the Black Cherry, and my husband is a fan of the Cola and Ginger Ale.

I truly appreciate the usage of stevia (a plant-based sweetener) in Zevia. My scrutinies of the product simple lie within the fact that none of these ingredients are organic. The reason this is significant is because I can go to the store and purchase a Kombucha (my effervescent drink of choice that is completely organic). For that reason, Zevia would not be my choice as I’m strolling through the grocery store.

I’m also aware that there are a TON of people out there that are actively searching for a healthier option to replace their traditional soda habit. Zevia is a good product for those people to take a step in the right direction, and I would recommend Zevia to those individuals. Zevia is ingredient conscious and obviously pays more attention to what goes into their soda than other big-box soda brands do. I also love that they offer their soda in glass bottles (BPA-free) as an alternative to the metal cans. I look forward to the day when Zevia releases an organic line!