Yup, it's Awareness + Holidays = 'Aware-lidays!'
So far we've given away everything from stylish carry bags to a customized exercise coaching package to some yummy low-glucose-spiking snacks last week. This week, with the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah holiday feasts just upon us, we remain focused on yummy diabetes-friendly food items...
Hopefully many of you know our friends over at Level Foods, whom we've written about before. The company was founded by fellow type 1 PWD Ethan Lewis, who began his biz as GlucoBrands but later changed the company's name to Level Foods.
About a year ago, we debuted the company's first products, Level Life glucose gel pouches in delicious flavors. We were fans of those and continue to be, with the only caveat being that sometimes pouches can get messy if you happen to sit on them or squish them by mistake. Ethan tells us they've been working with new packaging suppliers to strengthen the materials to avoid that very situation, so there's even more to like! We're thrilled to hear how Ethan's team at Level Foods is listening to the D-Community and making changes.
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Now Level Foods has some very exciting developments to share: first, they've been acquired by a large Colorado-based food company called Boulder Bands (the same folks who own Udi's and Glution gluten-free brands) -- and they've launched a whole new line of products, including protein shakes and extremely delicious protein bars made with all-natural ingredients!
Unlike the glucose gel pouches, these new products are not meant to treat lows, but to provide tasty snacks that will help curb hunger, and won't spike blood sugars, in order to... you guessed it: keep you level! :)
As a self-proclaimed protein bar addict, I went crazy for their new bars in caramel chocolate peanut and chocolate peanut crunch -- just 6 grams net carbs and 11 grams protein each. And I must say, the protein shakes in homemade vanilla and milk chocolate flavors were better than any I've tasted, at just 4 grams net carbs and 15 grams protein each.
On the bars: I don't know where to start -- these are just so darn delicious. The chocolate peanut crunch is crunchy-sweet enough to taste like a major treat, but also not cloyingly sweet in the way so many chemically sweetened products are. Ethan says this one's their "second-best flavor" because the caramel chocolate variety is insanely good, with just a touch of gooey caramel at the top to make it taste like the high-protein, low-carb candy bar we PWDs have been dreaming of!
On the shakes: Do you miss creamy vanilla shakes? Rich chocolate milk? You will be in heaven here, with these BG-friendly substitutes. No steely aftertaste, no bloated tummy (my experiences with other protein shake products).
Right now, these protein bars and shakes are only available to purchase online, but Ethan tells us to expect to start seeing them in stores sometime in early 2014.
We're not the first to share our thoughts on these new Level Foods products; other friends in the DOC have written more comprehensive reviews recently, including Rachel and Brian to name a few. We just love to see these "small but mighty" diabetes businesses grow as Level Foods is doing and we couldn't be more thrilled to add our thoughts to the mix! And send some products your way if you haven't tried them yet.
What's even more awesome is that earlier this year, Level Foods partnered up with Joslin Diabetes Center, associated with Harvard Medical School, to work jointly on nutrition awareness programs. Level is donating 1% of its sales back to Joslin to help raise money for the diabetes research program. How cool!
Ethan tells us they are close to launching a big revamp of their website in the coming weeks, and they're also hosting a weekly giveaway of their own on their Facebook page that lasts through Dec. 2 -- so there are lots of ways to win!
And this week, four lucky readers will win a bundle of Level Foods products right here at the 'Mine...
Our Aware-lidays Giveaway
To win, all you have to do is leave a comment below answering this question:
What is your preferred way to stay LEVEL during the holiday food season?
Be sure to include the keyword "DMProducts" somewhere in your comment so we know you're interested in the gift pack.
You have until Friday, Nov. 29, at 5pm PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.
And once again, we're please to offer you all a special on purchasing, too.
'Mine Reader Discount
Use the promo code picture here (TRYLEVEL25) for a 25% discount on any Level products with a purchase of at least $20.
I hope you all enjoy these snacks as much as I did!
This contest is now closed. Congrats to Mike Ratrie, who Random.org chose as our winner for this giveaway!