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Adventures with Ami: What’s in Your Cup?

Figuring out the food on a plant-based whole foods plan can be the easy part for some.  The difficulty comes when figuring out what to drink.  You mean you ONLY drink water? No, we don’t ONLY drink water.  We drink all kinds of great stuff.  We just don’t drink our calories.  We avoid juices, sugary drinks, smoothies, caffeine, alcohol and diet sodas.  Some might say…well what’s left?  All kinds of stuff! In this blog series, we are going to explore all the neat stuff you can drink and still follow the guidelines of Engine 2.

Let’s talk about Sparkling Water!


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Sparkling water is simply water with carbonation added.  If you are a soda drinker now and like the bubbles of a fizzy drink, this is the way to go.  More than just Perrier or Pellegrino, sparkling water now comes in a delightful array of flavors without any added sweetener.  This is what we are talking about.  Not the fizzy waters with added AceK or Splenda.  Simply water, bubbles and natural flavors.  Read the label to be sure you are purchasing the right type.

Most often you will find sparkling water with the bottled water at your grocery store.  Seagram’s, Canada Dry, Polar, LaCroix, and Dasani  are a few of the brands out there.  Local bottlers, store-brands and machines you can have on your counter at home like SodaStream are making sparkling water much more interesting!

Let’s investigate!

Seagrams  http://www.seagramsmixers.com/ offers Plain, Blackberry Raspberry, Key Lime, White Peach and Orange Citrus.  I really enjoy their offerings.  The flavors are bright and deep.  My favorite is the Blackberry Raspberry.  I have seen these mostly in cans but also in 1 liter bottles.

Canada Dry http://www.canadadry.com offers Plain/Original, Lemon-Lime, Pomegranate Cherry, Triple Berry, Raspberry, Mandarin Orange, Cranberry Lime and Peach Mango.  Several of these flavors are new offerings from Canada Dry that I look forward to having the opportunity to try.  The raspberry has been my favorite from them for awhile now.  I most often see these in cans, but saw them in single serve bottles sold in a 6-pack recently.

Polar Seltzer http://polarseltzer.com/ may be the most creative entry in the sparkling water line up.  They make some absolutely sensational flavors, limited edition seasonal flavors and well…pretty spectacular entries like: Fudge Cheesecake and Mint Mojito!  Polar keeps it fresh and interesting with liter bottles, cans and single serve bottles as well.  This company is located in Massachusetts, you may or may not be able to find these in your area.  I have seen them in Minnesota and in Philadelphia.

LaCroix http://www.lacroixwater.com/ was the first sparkling water I tried.  We sold it at the coffee shop I used to manage.  We had it in plain, berry, lemon, lime and orange.  It came in glass bottles and in cans.  A lot has changed since then.  LaCroix now has an exciting line up of flavors! In addition to the original flavors mentioned already, you may find: pample-mousse (grapefruit), cran-raspberry, coconut, peach pear and the exciting new Cherry Lime and Apple Berry Curate flavors in the tall skinny cans.

Dasani http://www.dasani.com/ is a more recent entry into the sparkling water arena.  So far I have seen them in 12 oz. cans only.  Flavors include: plain, lemon, lime, apple, and berry.  I really enjoy the apple flavor!

SodaStream http://www.sodastreamusa.com/  a small appliance that contains a canister of CO2 to infuse your water with carbonation.  This really cuts down on the amount of recycling you need to take to the curb if you tend to drink a lot of sparkling water.  The initial start up cost can be recouped pretty quickly if you drink more than a few servings a week.

Adding to the interest of whatever brand and flavor that you may choose is easy.  Add thin slices of citrus fruits or use frozen fruit as ice cubes to enhance your beverage. You can also add a splash of your favorite infused  balsamic vinegar to make a drink that is called a ’shrub’.  Refreshing with a zing of flavor, the possibilities are endless!  If you haven’t given sparkling water a try, please do.  Note: if you are kicking the diet soda habit, these are going to fast a little bland to you.  The sweeteners used in diet sodas are many times sweeter than sugar.  Allow some time for your tastebuds to adjust.  It will happen.  Hang in there!

E2 Team Ami

About the author

Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

3 Responses to “Adventures with Ami: What’s in Your Cup?”

  1. Beverly says:

    I stopped drinking carbonation a long time ago. I thought it was pretty unhealthy. I love it. Is it really okay if you drink it with sparkling water?

  2. Penny says:

    Shrubs cured my root beer and grape soda addiction :-D

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    The Engine 2 blog will feature tips, plant-strong success stories, how to make plant-strong work, answer your questions and feature special guest experts. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to help you become and stay plant-strong. Please be sure to jump in the conversation by leaving comments on each post!
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