Starbucks

When it comes to Starbucks, I am a stereotypical girl. Pumpkin spice lattes, scarves, and boots in the fall, the red cups at Christmas time that just make the coffee that much better.

Some weeks, I stop by Starbucks so often, I’m convinced I should have my own parking spot. A signature coffee cup, perhaps.

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If you’ve gone by Starbucks anytime lately, then you’re probably also aware you have to sell your firstborn child or cut off your right arm to afford it on a regular basis. Over $5 for one coffee drink? That can add up prettttty quickly.Besides taking a toll on your wallet, frequent trips by this chain coffee store can also have an impact on all those attempts to eat healthy in the new year.

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You may have seen this popular article by Vani Hari on her blog, “The Food Babe,” detailing why you should stay away from the ever-so-popular Pumpkin Spice Lattes. If you missed all of the commotion about it, check it out here: ““You’ll Never Guess What’s In A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.”

But I’m not here to persuade you to forgo those frequent coffee runs; I like need my daily dose of caffeine just as much as the next girl. So instead, I’m here to clue you in on ways to get that Starbucks fix while still choosing healthy options (—> all about that balance!!)

Here are some tips I’ve found for making healthy choices at Starbucks:

1. Choose non-fat milk instead of 2%

Starbucks also has soy milk available, which I will get on occasion. But I’m still waiting for them to get almond milk.  I mean, even Dunkin Donuts carries it now, so I’m not sure if they’re in the process of growing their own almonds or what’s going on there.

2. Skip the whipped cream!

Simply passing on the whipped cream will save you 80 calories – that might not seem like a lot but can add up over time! A typical drink with whipped cream has 10 grams of fat; without whipped cream, it has only 2.5 grams.

3. Less is more

A little goes a long way here. When I get a peppermint latte, I typically ask for one pump of peppermint syrup instead of the typical 4 they would put in. One pump of flavor still adds a little something without all the additional calories. Same thing for a pumpkin spice latte! Even though according to “The Food Babe,” no one should drink these ever. It does kind of take the fun out of it when you know all of the bad-for-you things in it.

4. Extra espresso?!

Sure, why not? Get a small size, and ask for an extra shot of espresso. This way, you’ll still get plenty of caffeine (which is usually what I’m going for) without drinking too many empty calories from flavors and sugars. FYI – Typically a small sized drink has one shot, a medium has two, and a large has three shots of espresso.

Some of my favorite go-to drinks lately:

1. Americano

Starbucks describes this drink as a “Rich, full-bodied espresso with hot water in true European style” on their website. It’s my new favorite! Since this drink is really just shots of espresso with hot water, it’s pretty close calorie-wise to a regular cup of coffee. A medium Americano is made with 3 shots of espresso, so I’ve been loving these lately  to fuel my way through work and the gym.

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2. Hot tea

Hot tea can be just the thing to warm you up on that snow day without adding extra calories in to your day. I shared in a recent post, In Every Moment, Yogi tea bags are my favorite kind. If you’re at Starbucks, I would recommend trying their Tazo Chai ones. I don’t usually choose hot tea if I’m trying to wake myself up for a hard workout, but it’s the perfect thing to enjoy at the end of the day, while you’re relaxing and reading a new book. I just finished “Bread and Wine,” by Shauna Niequist, so I’m looking for my next good read. Any suggestions??

3. Skinny peppermint mocha

A medium peppermint mocha has 410 calories with 15 grams of fat, 63 grams of carbs, 54 grams of sugars, and 13 grams of protein. On the other hand, a “skinny” peppermint mocha has 130 calories with 1.5 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of both sugar and protein. A skinny peppermint mocha is made with non-fat milk, sugar-free syrup, and no whipped cream. Don’t let all the non-fat and sugar-free labels scare you. So good, and much, much healthier!

4. Peppermint latte

In the fall, I like to get anything and everything pumpkin-flavored. In the winter, I quickly switch over to a peppermint obsession.  I usually order a peppermint latte before with 1 pump of peppermint (instead of 4!), and skim milk.

Let’s Chat!

  • Are you a Starbucks fan?
  • What is your go-to drink?

Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Bites

Do you ever just have a craving for something sweet?

All day, every day?

Me too.

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I can eat healthy all day long, but put some Dove chocolate in front of me and chances are pretty good I’ll enjoy one two Okay, fine, five. And since Sunday afternoons call for baking, I decided to combine a few of my favorite ingredients over the weekend to bring you Peanut Butter Chia Seed Energy Bites!

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I also just needed an excuse to use these adorable mixing bowls I got for Christmas. How cute are they!?

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This easy-to-make, simple treat will satisfy your craving for something sweet without feeling guilty or putting a stop on those New Year’s Resolutions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4.5 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1.5 cups quick oats
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate chips

Easy, right?! In fact, these are so easy to make that we’ll skip over the list of directions part.  Simply combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl, stirring to evenly coat the oats with peanut butter and honey. These two ingredients act as the glue that holds the dough together.

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After mixing, shape the dough into small balls and set in the freezer to chill.

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One recipe makes approximately 16 energy bites. Unless you eat lots of dough when you’re making them, then you’ll end up with less Smile

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With under 100 calories each, one of these energy bites contains approximately 10 grams carbs, 2.5 grams protein, and 4.5 grams fat. I don’t usually post specifics of the nutritional content for all of my recipes, but I’ve started learning more about focusing on the macronutrients you eat every day, like carbs, protein, and fats. It’s pretty interesting to look at the type of calories you’re taking in, rather than focusing on only the number itself. Paying attention to your “macros,” as people refer to them, will help make sure you are getting the right amount of healthy fats, protein, and carbs to fuel your body, depending upon your workout regimen, weight, and goals. Stay tuned for a blog post about that soon!

Hope you’re having a great week so far! It’s felt like a Monday all day long since I was off school yesterday. I still made sure to start the week off right with a run yesterday and today. Don’t mind my sweaty hair plastered against my face. No excuses!

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Let’s Chat!

What are your favorite go-to recipes when you’re craving something sweet?