As much as I love baking at home, I also love my little daily coffee shop visits! A coffee shop outing isn’t as pricey or time-consuming as a dinner outing (something I haven’t done in a while!), yet it’s so much fun to be served and to try a new tasty treat! Especially if you’re a mom who spends most of her time at home, serving others, like I do! 🙂
But coffee shops calories can seriously add up! Sometimes they may be astronomical! (Take a Starbuck’s seasonal favorite – their Eggnog Latte – it’s 620 calories in a Venti cup!)
But the good news is – you do NOT have to stick to just sad black no-sugar-added coffee or tea when you want to stay in shape! Here’re my best tips to help you enjoy yourself and be adventurous with your coffee shop orders without gaining tons of pounds! 🙂
HOW TO MAKE A COFFEE SHOP DRINK HEALTHIER!
Most coffee shops (Starbucks especially) are great at adjusting your order to your likings! Not only you can change the amount of espresso shots and the type of milk you’re adding to your coffee (naturally the lower-fat milk options, and especially the almond milk which is only 40 calories a cup, lower your drink’s calorie count)!
You can also adjust the amount of sugary syrup pumps in your coffee! For instance a regular flavored drink usually comes with 4 pumps of a syrup. Well, I usually drink my favorite coffee mocha with just 2 shots of mocha syrup. I still get the decadent chocolate flavor, but with only half the sugar!
Well, it took me awhile to get my tastebuds to adjust! At first the less sugary drink didn’t taste as good as the original one! But after a few weeks with the 3 shots and then a few more weeks with just the 2 shots, I started loving it! In fact – give me the 4-shot original now – and I’ll hate tasting all that excess of sugar!
LEAVE OUT THE UNNECESSARY
How bad do you really need that whipped cream on top? Or… are you really craving it? But then perhaps you can leave out the extra syrupy drizzle on top? Or maybe you can make that whipped cream cloud a bit smaller? Think about what you REALLY want and leave out the rest! 🙂
MAKE IT SKINNY, BUT…
Skinnier versions of the sugary drinks aren’t only made with the skim milk. They’re usually made with the artificially sweetened syrups or powders! If you have diabetes or in a danger of developing it – these versions are probably the only way for you to go.
Yet, if you’re a regular healthy person – think twice before getting used to indulging on the skinny drinks! The artificial sweeteners used in most of them aren’t the healthier stevia-based ones. It’s usually the Splenda or Sweet-n-Low which contain the no-good for you aspartame.
And here’s my little trick: I usually carry a few stevia packets in my purse. This way I can “readjust” a drink that isn’t sweet enough by adding a healthier 0-calorie alternative to it!
KEEP IT SMALL
Smaller size = less sugar & calories! Daah! 🙂 Just in case if you just HAVE to have the original version of that drink (with all those pumps in it) – treat yourself for it! But make it a Tall, or even a kid-size if you can!
And here’s my trick to getting a small sugary drink and making it feel as if you had a large-huge one! Before enjoying it – drink a whole BIG cup of water (or unsweetened tea – my favorite)! This 0-calorie drink will fill your belly up! And when you’ll be done with your small yet decadent coffee – you will feel like you just had a large one! Only without all its calories! 🙂
CHECK THE NUTRITIONAL INFO
Well, how else would you really know which drinks are better for you than the others? Not only the coffee shops have to provide you with the breakdown of calories, they also have to let you know about other nutritional facts, such as sugars and fats in your drinks!
If you’re on a strict calorie-budget – let this be your guide!
HAVE A TREAT WITH YOUR DRINK!
…Such as a piece of chocolate. Or some frozen yogurt! Because if you’re having your coffee WITH a treat – all you may really need is a strong coffee-flavor! Seriously – even if your coffee is barely sweetened, you’ll feel like having a decadent snack if you’re having something to sweet to chew on along with it!
I LOVE having my coffee at frozen-yogurt or gelato shops! (These photos were taken in my favorite Fatamorgana – a healthy gelato-parlor here in LA)!
In fact – this last trick is my most favorite way of taking a coffee-treat break! I actually don’t remember last time when I had a coffee on it’s own! OK, maybe a few weeks ago when I wanted to taste a seasonal favorite! Otherwise – it’s always a coffee AND a treat! YUM! 🙂So, what did you think? Can you now believe that a healthy-er Coffee Shop outing is possible? And what’s YOUR favorite way of treating yourself at a coffee shop? Don’t hesitate to share what you like in the comments below!