Tag Archives: resveratrol

Zevia Natural Diet Soda

If you know me at all, you know I’m not a fan of soft drinks. You know, soda. Sodypop. Pop. Fizzy drink. Cool drinks. Gassed drinks. Carbonated drinks. Refrigerantes. Bebidas. Refrescos. (I loves me my Wikipedia!)

Anyway, generally not a fan because they’re laced with all kinds of hard-to-pronounce chemicals, but I’ve recently discovered Zevia Soda. The claims are as they always are … no calories, no effect on blood sugar, no nasty fake sugar, cleans your house and balances your checkbook.

This time I think it might be true. Except for that last part. But perhaps I didn’t buy the right flavor.

When I finally got my hands on one, I saw “erythritol” on the ingredient list which — big surprise — I was not familiar with so I did some checking around. This is what I found …

…. “Erythritol is usually made from plant sugars. Sugar is mixed with water and then fermented with a natural culture into erythritol. It is then filtered, allowed to crystallize, and then dried. The finished product is white granules or powder that resembles sugar.”

…. “It is 60–70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, therefore unlikely to cause gastric side effects unlike other sugar alcohols.”

…. “Persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive issues should avoid using products containing erythritol. It is possible erythritol can aggravate symptoms in these individuals or cause further problems.”

…. “Erythritol like other polyols is resistant to metabolism by oral bacteria which break down sugars and starches to produce acids which may lead to tooth enamel loss and cavities formation ….The usefulness of polyols, including erythritol, as alternatives to sugars and as part of a comprehensive program including proper dental hygiene has been recognized by the American Dental Association. The FDA has approved the use of a “does not promote tooth decay” health claim in labeling for sugar-free foods that contain erythritol or other polyols.”

So I think, based on everything I’ve read, that if you must have some sort of fizzy sweet beverage, this wouldn’t be a bad brand to use. In moderation, of course, which won’t be too difficult as a 6-pack can run you around $4. I found mine on sale for $2.50, though. So, no, in case you’re wondering, I’m not a paid spokesperson. (But I could be if someone would only ask! Hear that, Dr Zevia?!)

I was interested in finding a good diet soda for two reasons. One, because I know a lot of peeps are addicted to their fizzy drinks so I wanted to help find something better for them. And, two, I wanted to transform — slightly — my evening glass of wine habit. I have a dilemma because one glass of wine isn’t enough, but two is usually too much for me, but I need the benefits of resveratrol. Yeah. That’s it. Benefits. So I thought if I could extend one glass of wine into a larger wine cooler which would last longer, that would be awesome. And it is, kinda. But I have to open a whole can of Zevia, and that’s way more carbonation than I want.

So I still haven’t quite figured that part out, but it does seem that if you crave the occasional soda, this one probably won’t kill you.

Have you ever had Zevia? What do you think? What do you call sweet carbonated beverages? Got a solution to my wine dilemma?

Let’s Talk Organics

In addition to being lazy, I’m cheap. Until I did some research, I assumed labeling something organic was simply shorthand for here’s a sucker with too much money and not enough brains. I’ve learned that’s not really true.

While it is true that organic food is often more expensive than non-organic, I’ve realized three things. One, because I’m practicing portion control, I eat less on the Lazy Low Cal Lifestyle so I’m spending less money at the grocery store anyway. Two, the health benefits outweigh the extra cost. And three, organic is not always more expensive.

When I read this on the Prevention website, I decided to give organics a try.

“Eating the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables exposes you to about 14 pesticides a day. A study supported by the EPA measured pesticide levels in children’s urine before and after a switch to an organic diet. After just 5 days, the chemicals decreased to undetectable levels.”

Toxins! Eww!

They went on to list the “dirty dozen” most contaminated produce. If I can, I always buy these organic. If you can grow them yourself, that’s ideal. But if you can’t, buy them in season from local farmers at farmers’ markets. You’ll see better prices and less of a carbon footprint with less hauling around the country. Better still to develop relationships with these farmers so even when Farmer’s Market season is over (for those of us in the shivery parts of the country), you can still take advantage of what they grow by buying directly from them or finding out which grocery stores they distribute to. Maybe even approach your grocery store to carry their produce. Also, visit www.LocalHarvest.org for organic foods near you.

Buy these organic whenever you can

Apples

Bell peppers

Celery

Cherries

Grapes

Lettuce

Nectarines

Peaches

Pears

Potatoes

Spinach

Strawberries

We eat a lot of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower at my house so even though they aren’t on this list, I try to buy them organic whenever possible simply because of the amounts we eat. Plus, I’ve always heard that you should buy organic produce if you eat the whole fruit or vegetable, like what’s listed above. But for things like bananas, oranges, pineapples, and such, there’s no need because the peel stops the toxins and you don’t consume it. I don’t know for certain that’s true, but it makes sense to me.

Of course, besides being ec0-friendly, the main benefit to organics is that they contain fewer pesticides and additives.

I haven’t made the leap to buying all organic dairy, but I will tell you I switched to Almond Breeze almond milk when I read that cow’s milk can have pus and other disgusting stuff in it. Plus, almond milk comes in shelf-stable cartons that don’t have to be refrigerated until they’re opened. It also has significantly fewer calories than cow’s milk. (45 vs. 130 in 8 ounces) If you must buy cow’s milk, definitely go organic.

You can go online and print coupons from organic dairies. Try www.Stonyfield.com and www.OrganicValley.com. Heck, you can go online and print coupons from all your favorite companies, not just organic. But I suspect we’ll start seeing more and more organics coming to our local grocery stores and we won’t have to seek out specialty stores as much. I’ve started to see organic store brands, too. Proof that organics is hot!

I’ve seen some studies about organic meat that make me seek out and pay extra for organic, grass-fed beef and poultry whenever I can because they can’t be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or feed made from … ick … animal by-products. But frankly, I buy a lot less meat these days because it tends to gross me out if I think about it too much and because, I’ll say it again, I’m cheap. And, in case you’ve forgotten, because the correct portion of protein per serving is only three or four ounces, you CAN afford to buy the better, organic meat.

What about “free range,” you ask? It conjures up chickens frolicking over hill and dale, joyful in their little games of Freeze Tag and Capture the Flag. Unfortunately, all it means to the USDA is that the poultry has outdoor access — green grass or hot pavement is all the same to them. Also, the birds may have been debeaked which is just as painful as it sounds.

Ignore the “free range” label and look for the words “pasture-raised” along with a Certified Humane Raised and Handled seal of approval. That means the birds have shelter but can also forage naturally. Not only is it nicer for the poultry, it’s nicer for you too. Their eggs contain more Vitamin A and omega-3s and they have less overall fat.

What do you think about organics? Have you made the leap? Why or why not?