I needed a date with Starbucks

I really really really needed a date with Starbucks. I haven't had caffeinated coffee since early June and hadn't had decaf in weeks.

But that green mermaid calls to me.  And If there is one thing that fall and cooler weather always bring out of me is a love of every warm drink.

I'm sure it comes as no surprise that the majority of Starbucks drinks are unhealthy, as well as many kinds of hot chocolates and drinks.  I remember going through a phase 4 years ago when I made it a habit before working my routine overtime shifts to stop at 7-11 and get a hot chocolate or french vanilla cappuccino.  I figured running over 50 miles a week could easily negate the bad habit.

But can it?

The short answer is no. With cooler weather upon us, it's important to make wise choices when it comes to drinks that soothe the soul.  Let me give you an idea of the ingredients and nutrition in some of your favorite drinks:

Pumpkin spice latte:

A classic favorite. Let's say you're trying to be good and get a grande with skim milk (please NEVER get soy!) and whip.

16 oz
Cal: 330
Fat: 7
Carbs: 52
Sugar: 50

Do you know that in that drink alone you are getting more sugar than what is recommended daily? The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends Americans cut back on sugar, eating less than 5% of their daily calories from it. For an adult at a normal body mass index (BMI) or 20-25, this would be around 25 grams of sugar- or 6 teaspoons. This drink already puts you over the top!

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate-  1 packet-

Cal: 138
Fat: 3
Carbs: 27
Sugar: 21
Protein: 2

First of all, this is the drink prepared with water- not even milk! Want to know the first 5 ingredient? Corn syrup, sugar, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, and nonfat milk.  And don't bother getting a sugar free version. Be prepared for more "natural" artificial flavors, which can be GMOs and other synthetic materials.

Now for the big one. My previous addiction. 7-11 Fat Free French Vanilla cappuccino. Back when I thought fat was the devil. Lets say I was being good that day and got a small ;)

7-11 Fat Free Vanilla Cappuccino.

Cal: 250
Fat: 1
Carbs: 56
Sugar: 38
Protein: 4

There are nearly 20 ingredients, and all are creative names for corn syrup. Talk about putting chemicals and toxins in the body. What's bad is these bad drinks can become are norm in the rush of life, when it's cold outside, and when we just need to indulge that sweet tooth.

But there are other ways.

Like I said, I needed a date with Starbucks.  I was wondering, how can I make this drink taste like pumpkin spice but keep it healthy?

I got a tall decaf and added 2 tablespoons full fat organic coconut milk and a couple tablespoons of my organic vanilla SO DELICIOUS brand coconut milk. You could also use SO DELICIOUS coconut milk coffee creamer.  Then I added a little bit of cinnamon and little bit of pumpkin spice, plus 1 drop stevia.  It was a perfect dairy-free, healthy treat!

So enjoy your hot drink, grab a blanket, and cozy up for some football and enjoy the fall in the air ;o)


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