Behind The Scenes: Why Matcha Cookie Crunch?

From the Founder, Emily


ICYMI: We were stoked to reveal our latest addition to the Lil Bucks fam last Friday: MATCHA COOKIE CRUNCH CLUSTERBUCKS! It took us just under a year to bring this to life. Last year (April 25, 2020 to be exact!) we surveyed y’all via Instagram to see what flavors really spoke to you. And via that post and email, the answer overwhelmingly had to do with the Matcha Lion’s Mane idea.

This was originally inspired by Four Sigmatic’s delish Matcha Lion’s mane lattes that I was using to power my intense entrepreneurial days. How could we turn this into snacking form, for the ultimate brekky bite or afternoon pick-me-up for y’all?! 

After noodling on it for a while, we ultimately moved away from the pistachio idea because we want to provide something gluten-free, grain-free AND nut-free for y’all. So many grain-free products just replace grains with nuts for the protein and the crunch factor, but with increasing allergies and some just trying to avoid nuts for calories or other diets, we didn’t want to go down the nut path. So, bye pistachios, and hellooooo COOKIES.

Enter: Tenzo Matcha

The food industry is super connected, and I was chatting with Sydney of MadeBy, an adaptogenic cookie company based out of Los Angeles, who swore by Tenzo Matcha in their limited-time matcha cookies. High quality matcha? Cookies? Hi. Sydney introduced me to Steve, the founder of Tenzo Matcha, and the rest is history.

Photo from Tenzo

I was enamored with their founding story: sick of the low-quality matcha being sold across the U.S.. Steve and his friends went to Japan on a quest to find better matcha (well, they were vacationing there, but why not use a vacation as an excuse to find the best matcha ever??). They basically stumbled upon this amazing farm and met a Japanese tea master with over 400 years of matcha-making experience in his family. Together they crafted a proprietary blend of ceremonial and organic matcha for daily drinking and set out to bring this to the U.S.A.

We were talking about using their matcha for our Matcha Lil Bucks, but I was getting so excited about their story and sourcing, that I was like, hey, let’s try this out in our new Clusterbucks flavor tests. 

It’s. SO. Good.

The Tenzo Matcha’s bright green hue alone is a testament to the quality. It has the perfect delicate flavor without being too earthy. Y’all wanted a matcha flavor, and we found the best matcha, so we set forth to create the Matcha Clusterbucks!

Adaptogen of Choice: Lion’s Mane

You know we love adaptogens when it comes to Clusterbucks. Reishi mushroom in the Chocolate Reishi, and Ashwagandha in the ayurvedic-inspired Turmeric Lemon Myrtle. Lion’s mane was the natural adaptogen pairing of choice since I had already enjoyed lion’s mane with matcha before (thanks for the inspo, Four Sigmatic!). I loved how sharp it made me feel in the morning. As someone with a little A.D.D., anything that helps me focus is a pantry staple for life. 

We are super careful with sourcing adaptogens as they are just now increasing in popularity, and, similar to what happened with matcha, companies come out with lower-quality adaptogens so they can sell them cheaper and undercut the pricing of the highest-quality sources. We are committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients from buckwheat to spices to our adaptogens, and so we bypassed the cheap products and went to the best mushroom source: Nammex, the sourcing brand behind the high-quality consumer mushroom brand Real Mushrooms. It’s literally the most expensive lion’s mane mushroom we found, but with good reason. We are givin’ you that good good.

And Finally: THAT COOKIE CRUNCH FACTOR 🍪

We are learning to pair exciting new ingredients like buckwheat and adaptogens with flavors you know and love. The overwhelming popularity of the Cinnamon Lil Bucks is proof that you LOVE all-time fave brekky flavors with sprouted buckwheat. Familiar flavors bring more people into the buckwheat obsession camp, and we love our growing tribe!

You’ll even notice on the new packaging we changed the Clusterbucks tagline from “Adaptogenic Buckwheat Clusterbucks” to “Buckwheat Granola Clusters”. It’s the same product but the word “adaptogenic” literally scares some people away, hah. So anyways, what’s a deliciously familiar flavor that will pair wonderfully with the Matcha, and will get mouths across the nation watering?? 

🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 COOKIES 🍪 🍪 🍪 🍪 

And by using a rich cacao butter, cacao nibs, vanilla extract and sea salt, we created that cookie-like taste without any more sugar, besides from the maple syrup as we always use. We even tried adding coconut sugar to some tests but found that the Clusterbucks didn’t need that extra sweetness. With just 3g added sugar per serving (from the maple syrup) we’re staying true to our belief that delicious food doesn’t need to be pumped with sugar to excite your taste buds.

As Thrillist recently said, Clusterbucks are “wildly addictive”, and we have no doubt the Matcha Cookie Crunch might just become your fave. 🙂 

Enjoy!
Emily 


Stop AAPI Hate // 6 Must-Try Asian-Owned Food Brands

As a brand proudly sourcing ingredients long-utilized by Asian communities (turmeric! reishi! ashwagandha! matcha!), we CANNOT just take the ingredients, ‘whitewash’ their history, call them “new” and never look back. Omsom, a women- led Asian sauce brand, asked this question last week:

“Do you ride for our communities as hard as you ride for our food?”

Food is culture. One of the beauties of America is that we’re diverse—there will be mixing of cultures and sharing of ideas, but with that should come equal seats at the table. America is not living up to this dream yet. We want to be a part of the future of food, where “ethnic” foods are not strange cuisines put into an ethnic aisle. A diverse table—both food AND people—is the new mainstream.

The people behind these many cuisines all deserve a seat at the table. Right now they’re not getting it, starting with the devastating hate towards the AAPI community.

What can we do?

1. DONATE

Through the rest of the month of March 2021, we’re donating 10% of our website sales to Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago. There are many other groups you can check out: AAPI Community Fund, AAPI Women Lead, and Stop AAPI Hate are some. If you work at a larger corporation, you can even ask if your company is willing to match money you raise for one of these organizations!

️SUPPORT

The tastiest way to do good: supporting women-led Asian brands disrupting the way Western nations think about Asian cuisine. Follow and try these brands to start:

  1. OMSOM Asian Sauces
  2. Diaspora Co. – ethically sourced Indian spices (we use their turmeric in Clusterbucks, but really all their spices are life-changing kitchen essentials)
  3. Tea Drops – sustainable loose leaf tea (in the cutest package – follow to see!)
  4. Crave Natural Food – Chicago brand bringing Asian brekky mainstream
  5. Fly By Jing – their Sichuan Chili Crisp. No words.
  6. One Stripe Chai Co. – the best chai you’ll have. No question.

EDUCATE

One of the biggest things we can do to honor a cuisine’s/ingredient’s origin is to LEARN THE ORIGINAL NAMES. Like Golden Milk for example = Haldi Doodh. Learn the history of where your favorite Thai dish came from, and try to notice how your favorite local Thai joint evolved from the traditional form to their signature dish. This deepens the connection with the food, honors the culture and the creator of the food.

TAKE ACTION

Look up what you can do in your local state/city. For example, in Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago is spearheading the passing of the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act (TEAACH). You can contact your rep to express support for this act (find your rep easily here).

By NO means am I saying Lil Bucks is doing it all right. But as the founder, I do promise that we will listen, learn and honor every culture that has impacted this brand and beyond. We will strive to be better and to stand by our word to better the future of food, where we ALL have a seat at the table. ️🍽️

<3 Emily


Healthy Holiday Tips

November is the intro into the holiday season. And while for some the holidays are synonymous to stress, we at the Good Vibes Fam, are here to keep you happy and healthy during this time. We have compiled a list of tricks and tips to help you navigate this crazy hectic time, while keeping you on track toward your health and wellness goals.

Healthy Holiday Tips

  • Hydrate with water

    • First and foremost hydrate hydrate hydrate! Water does so much for your body. It regulates your mood, helps keep your skin glowing, helps to flush out the toxins that we all will be ingesting during this time. Never underestimate the power of hydration!
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  • Don’t skip meals

    • Skipping a meal with the goal of saving calories prior to a holiday event can often backfire and lead to overeating due to ravenous feelings of hunger. Having a filling snack, such as fruit, string cheese, yogurt or a small handful of nuts, can help to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
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  • Bring a healthy dish

    • Ensure at least one nutritious choice is available at family gatherings by contributing your very own healthy meal item. This will give you peace of mind knowing no matter what, you can always fall back on your own nourishing dish!
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  • Enjoy seasonal treats!

    • Having the occasional treat once a year will not make or break your health goals. Make sure you take time to really savor that special treat when you have it. That extra piece of pie is good for the soul! 
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  • Eat until you’re happily satisfied, not stuffed

    • No one likes that overly stuffed feeling after overly gorging on food. Eat mindfully and slowly, and check your overall fullness while you’re eating. Remember — leftovers are the best part of the holidays! The gift that keeps on giving.
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  • Do not feel guilty

    • If you did overindulge (which we all do because food is yummy), don’t beat yourself up. The holidays are a special time. Your focus should not be on the food you’re consuming, but rather the company you’re with. Be present and enjoy spending time with friends and loved ones. You’ll be back to your normal routine in no time! 
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  • Add more veggies to your plate

    • Veggies, veggies, veggies! It’s easy to go all-out on our favorite dishes, but sometimes eating mindfully is as simple as starting your meal with nutritious greens.That way you’re more likely to fill up on the good stuff first thing! Maybe add more vegetable dishes to the dinner table spread, finding unique ways to dress them up without making them completely unhealthy. 
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  • Opt for homemade food instead of processed

    • Homemade everything can be tricky when you’re bouncing from event to event, but it can also ensure that you’re eating healthier foods. Pre-made and canned foods are packed with excess salt and sugar that you don’t necessarily need to make a delicious dish. Homemade pies, potatoes and soups allow you to reduce your sugar and sodium intake, while still indulging on your holiday favorites. 
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  • Don’t forgo exercise during this time

    • Move your bodies! Exercise helps us cope with the holiday stress and releases endorphins that make us feel good! Every little bit counts- walking, living room jumping jacks, ice skating- a great way to give back to yourself during this time.
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  •  Make time for yourself!

    • Whether you’re staying with your family over the holidays or just attending multiple events, always remember to make a little bit of time every day for yourself. Whether that’s walking, meditating once a day, or reading, those moments we give to ourselves will make us better humans to those around us. Even extroverts like me need time to recharge our batteries! 
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  •  And the most important tip of them all: bring a bag of lil bucks and clusterbucks wherever you go!

    • Saving the best for last with this one! Buckwheat is a great guilt free snack that will satisfy cravings while also fueling your holiday endeavors! The perfect on the road snack.
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Five Health Benefits of Turmeric

November is here Good Vibes Fam!! Fall is in its utmost prime here in the Windy City– shout out to the beautiful fall leaves for giving us the perfect wardrobe color scheme for the next month. And not to mention palate inspo as well! As we all know, the moment PSL’s make their way onto the Starbucks menu, it’s time to break out all things orange in the kitchen: pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes… But most importantly TURMERIC.

Yes, yes turmeric! This fragrant, timeless spice has been benefiting the human race for thousands of years, with its first recorded use in South India. Turmeric is a major part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine. The potent root made its way into China, Indonesia, Africa and Jamaica, and finally to the melting pot that is the U.S.A. . 

I’ll admit it–the first time I consciously enjoyed turmeric (of course it’s been used in Indian cuisine I’d enjoy at restaurants) was in a gold mylk latte–AKA Haldi Doodh, a turmeric elixir common in households across India. Seriously, turmeric is a MOVE. If you haven’t tried this spice in your cooking or drinks (or, um Turmeric Lemon Myrtle Clusterbucks), we hope this page will convince you otherwise. 😉 

What gives turmeric its beautiful orange coloring, and not to mention its superfood powers you may have heard about, is a key ingredient called curcumin. Thanks to curcumin, here are 5 reasons why you should incorporate turmeric into your diet:

1. Powerful antioxidant

Antioxidants help protect your body against damage caused by free radicals that can come from environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke and industrial chemicals. Curcumin is able to hunt down these different types of free radicals, control the enzymes that neutralize free radicals, and prevent certain enzymes from creating more free radicals.

2. Natural anti-inflammatory

In fact according to a past study, curcumin may be a more effective anti-inflammatory treatment than the more common over the counter inflammation-fighting medications such as ​aspirin. SAY WHAT!

3. Anti-cancer effects

Curcumin has also been attributed to slowing the spread of tumor cells and may even potentially prevent some tumors from forming in the first place. It can do this by disrupting the formation of cancerous cells at various stages in the cell cycle and even terminating those cancerous cells.

4. Can lower risk of diabetes

Meanwhile, curcumin may help prevent diabetes through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and improve many of the factors that contribute to diabetes, including ​insulin resistance​, high blood sugar

5. Brain Food

Yes, brain food. Cognitive functions are important and what better way to slow the aging process than with food? Turmeric has been linked to preventing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. It does this by raising levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein found in the brain and spinal cord that plays a critical role in keeping nerve cells healthy, as well as managing communication between nerve cells, which is especially important for learning and memory. Much like Alzheimer’s, depression is also linked to low levels of BDNF. Turmeric’s ability to boost levels of BDNF makes it an effective ​antidepressant​ as well!

And the best part about adding turmeric to our clusterbucks is the fact that we partner with this cool SF spice brand Diaspora co! ​Before even trying Diaspora’s turmeric, it was love at first sight. I was obsessed with the vibrant brand the founder Sana created, and felt it vibed with Lil Bucks straight away. Sana’s company is disrupting the Indian spice trade, decolonizing an outdated spice trading system, putting more money and equity into the actual spice farmers’ hands. Sana goes to India for months out of the year to directly source the turmeric and other spices. Every aspect of their business was absolutely blowing me away, making it a no brainer to support this women and minority led business. ​Truly no words can do enough justice for how much I admire this brand and how thankful I am that we get to partner with them.

If you’re looking for a simple and easy way to incorporate turmeric into your diet, look no further than our turmeric lemon myrtle clusterbucks! They are a perfect addition to any meal and even taste great on their own. And better yet, you know it’s ethically sourced.

SOURCES:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-turmeric

https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/the-health-benefits-of-turmeric


Super Swap Nutritionist Program

With the holidays upon us, and the pandemic among us, health is on the forefront of everyone's minds these days. Fret not! We are here to help you make delicious mindful choices with these easy breezy seven food swaps.

We are SO honored to partner with these top tier brands below that are shaking up the food industry with "super swaps" (but really!) that actually taste amazing! Now you can have your cake and eat it too... Let's dive into the brands--but be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for a way to save 15% off ALL our brands' websites for the whole month of October 2020!

Banza. As the weather cools off and the days become shorter, there’s nothing like ending the day with your favorite comfort foods. Rather than filling up on empty carbs, why not try Banza’s chickpea products? They are low glycemic and gluten free, high in protein and fiber, and have more nutrients than traditional rice and pasta. They even have a vegan mac & cheese box!!! Say. No. More.

Just Date Syrup. We know the holidays are synonymous with sugar. I mean how can you possibly resist the delicious seasonal drinks and baked goods?! Impossible. I refuse. But what if you could swap out some of your sweeteners with more natural guilt-free sweeteners? We have the solution for you! Just Date Syrup makes yummy low-glycemic sweeteners from California fruits. These sweeteners are jam packed with nutrients- more than even honey and maple syrup! Wow, who knew right? The best part of Just Date Syrup is how versatile it is. You can use it in salad dressings, sauces, baking, beverages, cocktails, dessert. I mean the list could go on and on! This is the perfect swap for healthy holiday baking, cooking and drinking!

Kween Foods. Okay you guys, I’m really excited to talk about this one. Kween Foods has done the impossible: they have created the first-ever spreadable granola! They call it Granola Butter. Cool, right?! It can be used in the same ways nut butter is used, but because it’s oat based, anyone with nut allergies or dietary restrictions can enjoy it as well. And best of all, they have a chocolate flavor! I am drooling just thinking about it.

Lil Bucks (heck yeah!) I’m not biased or anything, but I’m stoked to tell you our Lil Bucks adaptogenic snacks are the must have this holiday season (as if you didn’t already know that! All of our products are great sources of fiber, plant-based protein, and magnesium. Top that with the fact that buckwheat is low glycemic and gluten free, and you have yourself the perfect holiday swap. We all crave cookies and other sweets during the holidays, so why not swap in our Clusterbucks as a cookie replacement?! Lil Bucks adds the perfect crunch to any baked good, smoothie, salad, yogurt, acai bowl. The list goes on and on! One bite and you’ll be hooked. To be honest I’m even snacking on some right now as I type this!

Rise Brewing. Okay what is the holiday season without seasonal drinks or themed lattes? I mean a fall without pumpkin spice lattes?! Never heard of her. Rise Brewing creates an ingenious idea by infusing nitrogen with their cold-brew resulting in a delicious, creamy, smooth drink that puts all the other high calorie alternatives to shame. We recommend the RISE Oat Milk Latte, it’s to die for!

Rhythm Superfoods. So maybe your weakness during the holidays is not sugar, but salty snacks. That’s okay because Rhythm Superfoods has a solution for you: organic snacks made from REAL fruits and veggies! Instead of the empty carb filled chips, take a bite of these bad boys. The beet and kale chips are all the rave, rightfully so as each bite packs a nutritious punch, filled with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. So go grab your favorite dipping sauce, and feel good about your snack choices.

Simple Mills. Okay, so Simple Mills, staying true to the brand, is really making things simple for you guys. They make crackers, cookies, frostings and baking mixes to name a few, that are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMO and artificial free. Guilt? Yeah, we don’t know him. With every product made with authentic, whole-food ingredients healthy eating has never been so easy! Their brownie mix will not only soothe your chocolate cravings, but it might even make you glow.

Curious to try any of these brands? For the month of October, you can use the code 15SUPERSWAP at checkout on any of their websites to get 15% off sitewide! Stock up on stocking stuffers, gifts, hosting treats, and snacks for...yourself. *Rhythm Superfoods code available on Amazon.


7 Health Benefits of Cinnamon

With the onset of the new season, it only seemed fitting to introduce our newest addition to the Good Vibes Fam…. Cinnamon Lil Bucks! As the weather cools off and the leaves change color, nothing screams autumn more than a hot, slow-cooked porridge topped with these cinnamon-y spicy delights. We simply adore the smell and taste of cinnamon, but hey, it has loads of health benefits too.  

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CINNAMON

Let’s unveil some of the reasons why we love cinnamon:

1. Helps manage Diabetes and improve insulin sensitivity 

Cinnamon has proven to lower blood sugar levels by decreasing insulin resistance, a benefit for all of us, but most especially those with diabetes. If you’re one to keep an eye on your blood sugar, you might want to add more cinnamon to your diet. Research has shown that cinnamon can help slow blood sugar levels when consumed with complex carbohydrates (Hello, buckwheat! It’s the perfect combo!).

2. Reduces inflammation (aka cell damage)

Inflammation can contribute to a wide range of health issues, from asthma to autoimmune diseases and cancer. Many of the flavonoid compounds found in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties that can help repair cell damage in the body. 

3. Reduces cholesterol levels and the risk for Heart Disease

A high-fat diet has been linked as one of the primary causes of heart disease. Luckily for us foodies, cinnamon offsets the effects of a high-fat diet because it possesses a polyphenol that is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This helps alleviate the effects of high-fat meals by slowing the post-meal blood sugar rise. 

4. Filled with antioxidants

Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants. This is so important because antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals in our environment. In fact, cinnamon is such a powerful spice that it can even be used as a food preservative. Say whattttt!

Combine that with high-antioxidant buckwheat, with extra-strong levels of Rutin, and you have the perfect heart-healthy grain-free granola going into the winter season!

5. Antimicrobial (helps fights infection)

Cinnamaldehyde, the part of cinnamon that gives it its delicious flavor and unique smell has displayed antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

6. Good for your gut 🙂 

We could all go for a healthier gut, right?! Good news, Good Vibes Fam, these cinnamon bucks will help keep you regular! For many years cinnamon has been used in medicine as a digestive aid. It possesses superfood properties that can alleviate symptoms associated with indigestion. The food you eat is digested by your intestinal tract. As food is broken down, gases arise. Research shows that cinnamon can decrease stomach acid and the secretion of the digestive enzyme pepsin from the stomach after eating. This in turn lessens the amount of CO2 gas in your stomach that often leads to post meal discomfort. 

7. May help prevent neurological disorders

Research has proven that cinnamon can delay cognitive impairments by diminishing oxidation in the brain. In addition, cinnamon is a good source of manganese, an antioxidant that is critical in supporting brain and body health.

And all of that is just from cinnamon! Combine those benefits with the high levels of magnesium, fiber and B vitamins found in buckwheat, and you have yourself the greatest superfood pairing EVER. 

 

SOURCES:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3

https://www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/5-spices-for-a-healthy-gut

https://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon

https://www.thehealthy.com/heart-disease/cinnamon-heart-health/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003790/#sec6title


Introducing Lil Bucks Reusable Produce Bags!!

Just when you thought your farmers market vibes couldn't get any higher, we bring you: ⁠

🥑🍎🍌REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS 🍋🍍🍓⁠

YUP. Get your fruits and veggies in style with your very own Lil Bucks Reusable Produce Bag!!!⁠ 

♻️ DID YOU KNOW......⁠

Humans produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% of which is for one time usage!! And 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans EVERY YEAR. 8 MILLION.⁠

There's no denying this wasteful way of life is polluting our beautiful planet. As a brand with a sustainable mission, we gotta make waves to stop this disposable lifestyle.⁠

Here are some tips to reduce your own plastic consumption:⁠

1) Use reusable bags⁠ (hi)⁠
2) Say adios to plastic cling wrap!⁠
3) Bring your own cup⁠ (We love aussie @keepcup )⁠
4) Learn how to recycle (and maybe compost)⁠ Start at how2recycle.info⁠

Remember no action is too small! 💚💙💚


“LOW GLYCEMIC” ~ WHAT DOES THIS MEAN AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?

As a consumer it can be incredibly tricky keeping up with all the nuances in the health industry! People are constantly throwing products and foods in your face screaming “THIS IS IT! THIS NEW DIET WILL END POVERTY, PROMOTE WORLD PEACE AND MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL!” Wow, amazing!  Who knew drinking matcha tea could do that?!

 

Worry not, my friends. We at Lil Bucks are promoting benefits you can get from buckwheat. While the buckwheat benefits truly align with wellness trends, we want to share why you should even care about these health benefits. We promise we’re not just promoting wellness buzzwords for the sake of it! 

 

One of the great benefits of buckwheat is that it’s low glycemic, meaning it’s great for your digestion and blood sugar levels. That’s why buckwheat is often considered such a heart-healthy food!

 

Below we share how the glycemic index works and how to interpret it, so you can understand how this works with your body and why you should be stoked that buckwheat is low glycemic!

 

THE GLYCEMIC INDEX, DEMYSTIFIED 

 

Many products boast being “low glycemic”, which sounds nice, but if you understand the glycemic index, it’ll sound a lot nicer. 😉

 

The glycemic index is a measurement system founded by Dr. David Jenkins in the early ‘80s. It ranks carb-containing foods by their effect on your blood sugar levels. Lower GI diets have been linked to healthier body mass indexes, lower cholesterol levels, and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. 

 

The glycemic index of a food is influenced by several factors like:

 

  1. The type of sugar it contains
  2. The overall structure of the starch
  3. How your meal was cooked and prepared
  4. The level of ripeness of the particular food. 

 

SUGAR SUGAR…  

 

Sugar often has a bad rep in the health world, and we’re the first to complain about the overuse of processed sugar EVEN in organic health products. Even the healthiest organic granola contains 6-8 grams of added sugar per serving. 

 

But to give a blanket statement that all sugar is evil is not accurate. You don’t want to eliminate all the sugar in your diet, because your body does need some sugar to perform some of its vital duties! Try to consumer more natural sugar (from fruits, veggies, etc.), which is often naturally paired with fiber, protein and/or other vital nutrients, to help you digest more slowly. Added sugars (sugar extracted from its original source and added to foods in cooking/processing) can go straight to the blood stream cause faster blood sugar spikes, so you want to limit these (look out for ingredients ending in “ose” on packaging!). 

 

STARCHES & HOW PREPARING YOUR FOOD HAS AN EFFECT ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX

 

Now let’s look at starches! Two molecules make up starches: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose takes longer to digest, and therefore foods with a higher amylose content will have a lower glycemic index. 

 

The more refined and processed the carb is, the higher the glycemic index. This is because processing methods disrupt the amylose and amylopectin molecules. The longer the food is cooked, the faster the sugars will be digested, which then raises the glycemic index. Foods like white bread and white rice, which are more processed for example, are easily digested and cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels. This can be extremely harmful for diabetics, and also contribute to heart diseases and obesity. 

 

With fruit, the riper the fruit, the higher the glycemic index. Unripe fruits contain complex carbs that break down sugar as the fruit ripens. 

 

READING THE GLYCEMIC SCALE 

 

Okay, so now you’re thinking how in the heck do I read the glycemic scale?! DO NOT FRET! It’s easier than you think! When reading the scale, you need to focus on the glycemic load of a food.

 

The glycemic load of a food is the GI of a food multiplied by the amount of carbs in a food- specifically the amount of grams- in a single serving. So if you decide to eat a low GI food but a large quantity of it, you could actually have the same effect as if you ate a high GI food! So portion control is extremely important as well! 

 

For example white bread has a GI of 75. Grain bread on the other hand has a GI of 53. You can swap white bread for grain bread to lessen the post meal blood sugar rise! 

 

FOODS THAT ARE LOW-GLYCEMIC!

 

Foods with a lower glycemic index are preferred because they are slowly digested and cause a smaller and slower rise in blood sugar levels (this is especially important for women and hormonal health!). 

 

Buckwheat, depending on how it’s prepared, scores low to medium on the glycemic index and should not cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels. We serve all our buckwheat raw, sprouted and dehydrated, putting these seeds on the lower end of the GI scale. They leave you full for longer and you don’t get any crazy blood sugar spikes after eating sprouted buckwheat. Other foods that possess a lower GI are fruits and vegetables, chickpeas, and lentils! 

 

POWER COMBO: pair Lil Bucks with an additional protein or healthy fat like an avocado on fermented sourdough! This will slow digestion and help keep you movin’ and groovin’ for longer!

 

We hope this was helpful for you in choosing the foods that fuel your life. Being a conscientious consumer is so important! Your diet extends far beyond what you may think. It can impact your energy levels, mood, weight, etc. Give your body the best, so it can perform at its best!

 

 

 

Sources: 

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/buckwheat#nutrients 

 

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/added-sugar-natural-sugar-guide

 

https://drsue.ca/2010/10/benefits-to-barley-and-buckwheat-low/

 


What I Eat In A Day: Future Dietitian Amanda Wagner

RUNNING ON LIL BUCKS

I am running on Lil Bucks, literally! Since adding this wonderful little fruit seed known as buckwheat (yes, you read that correctly, seed) to my daily athlete plate I have been feeling stronger and better fueled as a long distance runner.

Buckwheat is truly a magical food and I want to share that I was eating it before it was cool and in Lil Bucks form. 😉 I have always been intrigued by grains and new foods (and this is perhaps one of the many reasons I pursued becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist), so when I saw buckwheat hot cereal in the cereal aisle of a Jewel summer 2014 after I graduated college I knew I HAD to try it! It claimed to be a good alternative to a morning bowl of oatmeal and I was intrigued by the protein content and the supposed nutty flavor. I made my first bowl in the microwave and topped with cinnamon. I LOVED it!A few months later my now husband and I moved to Chicago and I made him try it and he found it to taste a little plain. 😔 Needless to say, I did not make it much for us after that.

Fast-forward to 2019 when I tried Lil Bucks for the first time and gosh did that put buckwheat back on the radar for both of us! I literally wish I could have an entire pool filled Lil Bucks, so I would never run out. 🤣 But I’m also not sure where the said pool would fit in my little Chicago apartment and how I would make it happen on a student budget… 🤔 Working as a Brand Ambassador is the closest I’ll get to a pool of Lil Bucks. 😆

What I love the most about buckwheat is how it is an excellent food for athletes, especially plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan ones like myself. 🌱 Buckwheat is an excellent source of magnesium, which is important for energy metabolism and sleep (the best recovery tool out there for athletes besides food). Buckwheat is also a good source of fiber (so you stay regular 💩) and a good source of protein to help repair your body after training sessions. 💪🏻

Since adding buckwheat, primarily in the form of Lil Bucks, I have felt stronger and healthier as a long distance runner than I have in years! See below how a day of buckwheat filled eating looks like for me.

A day of eating as a vegan long distance runner:

*Note: I am not a licensed medical professional. I will be a licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in the spring/summer of 2021. In the meantime, please contact a licensed healthcare professional with any questions or concerns before adapting a new way of eating, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. The way I eat as a vegan runner running an average of 40-60 miles per week works for me, but may not work for you! Each person is unique and that is why I highly recommend working with a RDN!

Breakfast: Race Day Oatmeal II:

Can’t Beet Chocolate from the Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow cookbook topped with salted almonds or walnuts, hemp seeds, Cacao Lil Bucks, and vanilla plant protein powder mixed in if it’s a heavy training week, I’m eating this meal after a morning run, or I’m extra hungry. I also take a vegan multivitamin every morning.

Snack 1:

A tropical smoothie made with frozen pineapple, frozen mango, almond milk or oat milk, and occasionally vanilla plant protein powder. A smoothie is not complete with some crunch. I love the Turmeric Lemon Myrtle Clusterbucks on this smoothie or the O.G Lil Bucks.

Lunch:

A cashew butter and jam sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread or a bagel. No sandwich is complete without some crunch, so I love adding some Chocolate Reishi Clusterbucks on top!

Optional Snack 2 (If I’m hungry, especially on afternoon/evening run days):

A larabar (Mint Chip brownie is my favorite) , a Pickybar (Blueberry Boomdizzle is my favorite flavor), or vegan yogurt with some Matcha Lil Bucks on top. Siggi’s is my favorite plant based yogurt followed by So Delicious Coconut Yogurt or Oatmilk Yogurt.

Dinner:

Black bean taco bowls because they are super easy to make and black beans are amazing. You just need to saute black beans, assorted vegetables such as kale, peppers, and broccoli in taco spices until heated thoroughly. Then serve over cooked rice, quinoa, or even buckwheat groats. Top with pumpkin seeds or O.G Lil Bucks if you want some extra crunch!

Dessert:

A few squares of dark chocolate, a vegan cookie, some dark chocolate peanut butter cups, or a bowl of dry cereal.

About Amanda:

She is a former high school science teacher with a BA in biology and M.Ed in science education, who decided to change careers after a quarter life crisis (lol). She has a passion for plant-based eating, wellness, and endurance sports, so what better way to combine the passions she lives every day with career than by becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?! She is a former collegiate cross country + track runner and ethical vegan who thinks her best days of competitive running are ahead of her! She is on a mission to show that you can be successful in sport and daily life while eating vegan, vegetarian, or more plant-forward. And yes, this includes eating as much Lil Bucks as possible. 😉 She is about to start her ten month long required dietetic internship and then will be eligible to sit for the RDN exam and obtain her license next spring/summer 2021. In the meantime, you can connect with and learn more about her on social media and her website:


World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day and in partnership with our Plastic Neutral Partner rePurpose Global, we’re committed to removing ONE PLASTIC BOTTLE PER SHARE of the below image across all our platforms to spread awareness and love of our oceans, which produce over HALF our world’s oxygen. 🌎🌊🌬️ You can share on Instagram here!

Today is about spreading awareness to unite the world to push world leaders to commit to protecting the “lungs of the earth”. This year, the UN’s theme for today is all about Innovation! Our innovation in buckwheat to promote sustainable farming in the USA will contribute to the bigger picture of a healthier planet.

You can sign this international petition to get world leaders to commit to protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030: https://www.campaignfornature.org/home

Also, if you consider yourself an environmentalist or at least environmentally conscious, read this article by Dr. Ayana Johnson to understand why supporting #BlackLivesMatter is crucial in our environmental protection efforts.

Last but not least, you can learn more about our Plastic Neutral commitment here, while we continue on the journey to becoming a more sustainable brand! You can also become plastic neutral yourself for as little as $2.50/month. Measure your impact and take the pledge here.