A 5'3 Perspective


Fabulous Finds Friday: A Soft Drink That Even The Biggest Health Freaks Will Love

If someone had told me a five years ago that I would give up [diet] soda for good, I would probably laugh hysterically – and then reach for yet another can of diet coke. I was a fizz-fanatic, easily consuming two cans a day, sometimes more. I thought drinking the diet version had no impact on my body because the nutritional facts were pretty much 0 across the board, the thought of consuming chemicals never really crossed my mind. The more I read about the ingredients used in calorie free beverages, the more stressed I became about drinking them. Then one day it hit me – just stop. So that’s what I did, cold turkey. I am proud to say that I am two years pop-free… Until a few weeks ago, when I discovered Zevia.

The reason I gave up soft drinks in the first place was to reduce my artificial and chemical ingredient consumption. The Zevia slogan: “Nature’s Answer to Diet Soda.” Hello – why didn’t this exist before! You better believe my health [go with me on pretending that this is a body part] and waistline are jumping for joy!

Study after study have shown that diet pop guzzlers are typically larger [fatter] then their counterparts because the artificial sweetener tricks the body into releasing insulin – which contributes to increased appetite. And just because it has no calories, it doesn’t mean your Big Mac & Fries order isn’t so bad. Tell me I am not the only one who has to suppress my comments when I see this happening – but that is a whole separate discussion in itself.

So back to Zevia. If a naturally sweetened, calorie free soft drink isn’t enough to sell you on the idea, the folks at Zevia have developed fifteen different flavours to please each and every palate. From classic Coca-Cola to Mountain Zevia, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something the company doesn’t offer.



So far I’ve tried: Dr. Zevia (a Dr. Pepper Copycat), Orange, Grape and my personal fave, Cream Soda. The taste is surprisingly similar to the authentic versions and absolutely delicious. The only concern I had when cracking open my first can was: “erythritol” – doesn’t sound so natural or healthy now does it? After a bit of research I found this statement on the Zevia website:

Erythritol is one of those ingredients that we love but shouldn’t judge by its overly scientific sounding name. Erythritol is a natural component of fruits and vegetables. It is called a sugar alcohol, even though it is neither sugar nor alcohol. It is removed from fruits and vegetables through a natural fermentation process, much like that of yogurt. It has absolutely no calories and no effect on blood sugar. Super safe? You betcha! In fact, unlike its sugar alcohol cousins, Xylitol and Sorbitol, Erythritol is not known to cause digestive issues.

That is an ingredient that I can live with for the time being. Now you are probably wondering, what does this mean for my pop free lifestyle? I plan to drink Zevia on special occasions, the same way I drank soft drinks as a child. Although it is a healthy option, I am happy to have it once in a while as a treat – I don’t want to return to my bad habits of drinking two cans of fizz a day. For now, my go to beverage will still be water.

Have a great weekend friends!

xo Lauren


Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

A few months ago I received a few silicon muffin tins from a friend, I had been dying to try some new recipes using them but life got in the way and I never really got around to it. Last night I decided to whip up some delicious allergy friendly blueberry muffins. I was inspired by a recipe I found on Pinterest for healthier dairy free muffins but  I chose to try quinoa flour so they would be gluten free. If you are vegan you can substitute the one egg for a flax egg or another vegan egg substitute. I used a combination of natural sweeteners because it was all I had left in the house – it makes for an interesting flavour but is definitely not necessary for the recipe. You could use between 2/3 and 3/4 of a cup of either honey, raw agave, or natural maple syrup instead – depending on how sweet you like your muffins.

Dairy and Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Inspired by: http://www.squidoo.com/whole-wheat-blueberry-muffin-recipe 



  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raw agave nectar
  • 3/8 cup natural maple syrup
  • a few drops of stevia if you like your muffins a little sweeter
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (could use another milk substitute depending on your preference – or regular milk if lactose isn’t an issue)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg (or vegan egg substitute equivalent)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries  (I prefer fresh because they stay in tact and don’t turn the batter blue)

What to do:

Step 1 – Pre-heat the oven to 400F

Step 2 – Combine the first3 ingredients into a bowl. If you are using quinoa flour, don’t be alarmed by the smell, it isn’t the most pleasant but I promise you won’t taste it!

Step 3 – Melt the coconut oil and set aside, you will add it to the wet ingredients last. Just to clarify, it should be 1/3 of a cup when melted.

Step 4 – Using a large bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients (raw agave, natural maple syrup, stevia, egg, almond milk and apple sauce). Stir together and then add the melted coconut oil. The reason for adding it at the end is that once it touches any ingredient that is wet and cold it will begin to solidify – you want to avoid this.

Step 5 – Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well with a fork until there are no clumps.

Step 6 – Fold in blueberries.

Step 7 – Grease a metal muffin tin, or use a silicon muffin tin and fill 12 spots to the top. These muffins do not rise much at all.

Step 8 – Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Muffins in the oven!

They should look something like the picture above. Just a tip, if you are using silicon muffin pans, be sure to put them on a baking sheet before filling them. It will be much easier to get them in an out of the oven.

Step 9 – Remove the muffins from the oven after 20 minutes have elapsed. If you used a silicon muffin tin, take them off of the baking sheet to allow them to cool faster and then place the silicon tins of a wire rack. It is important to let them fully cool before removing them. These muffins are very moist and will not come out of the tins easily if they aren’t at room temperature. This is always the hardest part for me. I hate waiting!

Step 10 – Share with friends and enjoy!


So there you have it! Dairy and gluten free blueberry muffins (with a vegan option). I must say, for such a healthy muffin, they taste absolutely amazing. If you use the ingredients I used in the same quantities the muffins come in at just under 150 calories each with 3 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs – not so bad!

Hope you like them as much as I do!