And the winner is…

in-between-winner

I realize I don’t (yet) actually have a policy where people who have won before can’t win a second time. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about that since someone totally new has won. Judging from her comment, it looks like this book might be helpful:

“I thought finishing college would be the answer to everything, but it’s left me lost, confused and in debt.”

Congratulations, Tanya!

What are you waiting for?

waiting

Royce Bair (Creative Commons)

As an entry to the giveaway this week, I asked the question, “What was your most recent ‘in-between’ moment or most difficult time of waiting?” I’ve been really enjoying the responses. People are being so honest! I really appreciate that. Here’s what some of you are saying:

“Seeing the end of school and not knowing what comes next! But school isn’t quite over yet so I need to somehow stay in the ‘present’ while staying hopeful for the future.”

“The in-between is a place I feel like I’m forever in. I don’t feel at home no matter where I am.”

“I’ve been “in waiting” for a few years and didn’t really even know that this was something other people experienced!”

“I’m currently going through an in between time while waiting to see if and when I’ll be moving and what I will be doing when I get there.”

“Right now I’m at a stage where my one of my kids is out of naps and the other is still an infant, so all of our life is sort of wrapped around that – it makes it hard to get anything done educationally for my oldest, or get any projects or cleaning done around the house other than the bare minimum, or read/listen to (adult) music/catch up with the news… I’m looking forward to when they are both able to play together so they can enjoy each other’s company, and give us all a bit more freedom.”

“My most difficult in-between moment was waiting for my depression to lift.”

“I’m deep in the ‘in-between’! I thought finishing college would be the answer to everything, but it’s left me lost, confused and in debt. ”

“My in-between time lately has been waiting to become licensed for counseling.”

What are you waiting for? You can still enter to win a copy of The In-Between by Jeff Goins. Or if you just want to chime in and leave a comment you can do so as well.

Zevia review (part 2) + Giveaway

Shortly after I posted my first review of Zevia vs Krisda, I received a reply on Twitter inviting me to try more flavours of Zevia, for free.

zevia-twitter

 

Obviously, I took them up on it, since a can of the stuff costs $1 at the local grocery store. I requested Cherry Cola, Black Cherry, Dr. Zevia, Ginger Root Beer (say what?), Gingerale and Cream Soda. As I was emailing back and forth with Kipling (their digital marketing manager), she explained something that was pretty helpful and very fair:

“We understand many people come to Zevia because they want to “replace” their bad soda with healthier Zevia. Sometimes this leads to frustration because our Cola doesn’t taste like your old brand. We’re certainly not trying to mimic the competitions’ flavor, but we know there is an expectation that our Cola taste like some other brands!”

I did expect this! I realize now it’s not very realistic.

zevia6

Back to the testing. Now, I didn’t sit down and drink them all side-by-side again, and I didn’t have Krisda to compare it to this time. It’s not a scientific study, people! But I think it is helpful to know that I enjoy these drinks more and more when I’m not drinking actual diet pop. These drinks taste better when your tastebuds are expecting the Stevia/Erythritol combo. You can taste the flavour more (though the sweetner is still evident, but that’s true of diet pop, too, we’re just more used to it).

Ok, enough with the disclaimers.

Zevia (accidentally, or super creepster-like) got a big point because the drinks arrived on my birthday (yay!).

The first one I tried was Cherry Cola. Right off the bat, I liked it more than the Zevia cola. In fact, I really liked it. The stevia taste was still there, but I’m pretty sure (but again, wasn’t testing it right side-by-side) that the cherry cola flavour was more evident than the cola.

cherry-cola

 

Next, I tried the Black Cherry. I brought it to the Versteeg Picnic. I forgot to take a picture. I was a bit surprised Zevia had Cherry Cola and Black Cherry. They’re pretty different because I didn’t really like the Black Cherry (go figure).

Next, I tried the Ginger Root Beer. I had no idea what it was going to  be like. Gingerbeer? Rootbeer? I found it started off more like rootbeer and ended with a bit of ginger. You might not even notice if you didn’t know that’s what it was called. I liked it fair enough.

I don’t remember the last time I had Cream soda but it was my favourite flavour as a girl. Two guesses why (it was pink and tasted like it!). While I was sad it wasn’t pink when I poured it (my first guess was the gold can), it was good! I really enjoyed it. Though I still partly can’t deal that it isn’t pink or at least clear. Sigh.

cream-soda

Last up was the Gingerale. I’m glad I saved it for last because I ended up having it on a day I had an upset stomach, which, if you know me, is frequent. I consume a decent amount of Gingerale when I’m sick, but often it’s hard to find the diet stuff. Now I don’t need to! Plus it’s got Vitamin C in it (all of the drinks do).

zevia_12_giveaway

So there you have it. Guess what? I’ve hooked you guys up with a giveaway. Zevia is going to give 5 vouchers for a 6-pack each. That means five of you can win! The only entry that is mandatory is leaving a comment. Note that Rafflecopter uses Javascript, so for you iPad/iPhone users, you might find it tricky.

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Winners + where to buy?

Chocolate BarsSo I noticed shortly after all of the curiosity surrounding the Pink Salt flavour that…. I don’t think they make it anymore. But judging by everyone’s interest in it, sounds like they should start making it again. The website here lists it as an option, but the packaging says otherwise (pictured right).

The Winners Are:
Margie B
Jennifer P

Ladies, please send me your addresses so I can ship the yum to you!

Now that you’re all curious, you’re probably wondering where you can pick up a bar to test it if you don’t end up being one of the lucky winners.

In Montreal you can find them at:

A Votre Sante (Westmount/NDG)
Bio-Terre (Mile End)
Briimstone Chocolates & Fudge (NDG)
Club Organic (Plateau-ish)

You can find the store closest to you here.

You can buy online here.

“Exceeds Fair Trade Standards.”

This week I’m running a giveaway which you can read more about here or go straight to the bottom of the page to add your ballots. You can get another entry every day for tweeting or sharing on Facebook

fair for lifeYou wont find the ‘traditional’ FairTrade logo on this chocolate. Giddy YoYo is certified through Fair For Life, a different certification system that claims to go above and beyond typical FairTrade standards. This is a summary of what Fair For Life is about (found here by clicking on the Fair For Life image):

“Unlike traditional Fair Trade programs that merely certify products, the Fair For Life program is much more thorough in that it reviews our suppliers products from the top to the bottom; and it evaluates and audits all their working conditions, labour practices, environmental programs, social benefits, and their company’s transparency. The Fair For Life program also reviews and monitors the origins of these products to ensure complete compliance with the program.

“Good Trade Guidelines Include:

  • Fair price – Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvested credit.
  • Fair labour conditions – Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labour is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct trade – With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and transparent organizations – Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community development – Fair Trade and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability – Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favour of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.”

If you want more information, go check out the Fair For Life website and then get in on the giveaway.

giddy-yoyo-md

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It’s food, not candy: FREE CHOCOLATE!

Giddy-Yo-Yo-2So there I was at EXPO Manger Santé in Montreal a month or so ago and I find myself at this booth that’s giving out free chocolate. So obviously I’m right up in that getting a free tester of all of these different kinds of chocolate. Dark chocolate, spicy cinnamon, sprulina, coffee etc. It was amazing. As I talked to the guy (I later learned his name is Jake) wearing this white shirt that HEAT across his chest, he told me about their chocolate. He dared me to try a 100% cacao nib and promised it would be gross.

I’ve eaten unsweetened Baker’s chocolate before. It was revolting. A few months prior I had tried a 90% chocolate bar by Lindt and also found it inedible. My problem is: refined sugar messes with my system. I get dizzy and light headed if I eat it frequently. So I don’t. But how do I live without chocolate? I keep to small doses of As Dark As Possible Chocolate.

I took Jake’s word for it and Willy and I tried the cacao nib. It wasn’t revolting. The 70% chocolate was smooth, like a mousse. It was strong and dark. It was totally different.

I noticed it was sweetened with their own Cane Sugar and so I asked about the glycemic index, which is usually what matters the most to me (I need things with a lower glycemic index than even honey, more on par with agave or even lower). He said they were getting this tested now to be sure but believe the GI is on par with a handful of blueberries. SOLD.

I used to prefer Camino chocolate (which I now find has a bizarre sweet taste, even the dark stuff – but like because its Fair Trade) or Lindt. I had a Lindt square the other day and it was waxy in my mouth. I (snobbishly) gave my second square back because it felt awful in my mouth. I was shocked.giddy-yoyo-md

So there you have it. LOVE this stuff. Their motto: “It’s food, not candy.” It’s raw, gluten free, dairy free/vegan, organic, “better than fair trade”, low glycemic impact etc. I have no sweet clue why they named their chocolate “Giddy YoYo” — clearly they’ve never heard of Yo Gabba Gabba or they would have chosen otherwise.

They have kindly given me 6 different flavours of chocolate that usually retail at $5 a pop (pricey, but worth it on so many levels) and a T-shirt. One winner will get the T-shirt and 3 chocolate bars. Another winner will get 3 chocolate bars. As the week (and the giveaway) goes on, I’ll post more info regarding their fair trade certification and other helpful tidbits.

T-chocolate

The flavours are (not all pictured) Ginger, Orange, Mint, Original, Mocha,  Spicy, Banana,  Spirulina (1G per bar!), Vanilla Pink Salt 85%, 89% Dark, Maca, and Sweet.

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