I’ve fulfilled my intern duties with a coffee run. Iced Americanos for everyyyyyyybody!
Now that we have the office on an espresso high, let’s get to talking about WHAT WE’RE PUTTING IN OUR COFFEE CUPS.
I tend to assume everyone is as obsessed with coffee as me. Tea drinkers are in denial….I will convert you! ;) just kidding, steep on my herb-loving friends.
Today I’m looking at the fun, fancy and fattening ingredients that invade our coffee cups and sabotage our indulgence.
If coffee is a daily (or, you know, hourly) occurrence, then the sugary and fatty additions will add up quickly. ***If a caramel frappuccino is a twice-a-year treat, then girrrl you get that whip cream!***
The cup of coffee itself, the heavenly-scented and dark-roasted liquid crack, begins with an innocent 5 calories plus metabolism-boosting properties. Drinking your coffee BLACK is probably the “healthiest” way to go. (I recommend sipping through a straw though to save your teeth!)
Let’s be honest though…..black coffee is no fun.
Not when there are 168534 possible combinations of flavors and styles for the caffeinated concoction.
My personal FAVE of the moment: Iced Americano with non-fat or almond milk plus a packet of stevia. Yummmm. This particular combo is fat-free/sugar-free. Primarily espresso, water and ice. The milk will add 10-50 calories depending on how dark you like it.
Whip Cream: topping off hot chocolate or fraps with whip cream adds 120 calories and 13 grams of fat.
**Alternative: ask for extra foam. Frothy and delicious :)
Caramel or Chocolate drizzle: sugar sugar sugar = empty calories. Just skip it.
Flavored Syrups: A grande latte is fun, but a vanilla latte is better…..flavored syrup adds 25 grams of sugar and 140 calories to a grande latte. That more than DOUBLES the sugar and calorie content of the drink.
**Alternative: ask for 2 pumps (a grande usually contains 4 pumps) of a sugar-free vanilla/hazelnut/cinnamon flavor.
….CUE the anti-artifical sweetener frenzy…..
I know, I KNOW. How can I condone “sugar-free” syrup with all of its chemicals and artifical sweeteners? Isn’t it basic Health 101 that “sugar-free” does not mean healthy?! Well, I abandoned 100% clean-eating last month so I am not a strict stickler for absolute commitment to unprocessed ingredients.
I look at it like this: for me personally, a coffee shop latte is a treat. Twice a month, maybe. So like most indulgences, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is indulging in moderation and making healthy swaps when available. Two pumps of sugar-free syrup will not turn my healthy diet upside down, nor will it cause immediate digestive consequences.
However other alternatives include sweetening your brew with some stevia or a drizzle of honey.
Is soy milk a better choice than skim?
I had to do a little research on this. For lightening my at-home brew, I opt for almond milk because it is creamy and adds very few calories. It’s rarely an option at coffee shops though. Soy is typically available, so how healthy is the non-dairy alternative?
When it comes down to it, skim milk is lower in fat and higher in protein than soy milk. So unless you have an aversion to lactose, soy milk is not superior to skim milk.
Okay your turn. How do you pump up your coffee?
I’ve been eating clean for a little over three weeks now. There have been many scrambled egg whites, bowls of oatmeal, protein supplements, fruits and veggies. I’ve had more almond butter than I probably should and more quest bars than I will admit, but for the most part my meals are 100% natural ingredients.
So I thought I would share some of my more appealing looking meals & snacks today! Because even though it may seem like I’m “limiting” or restricting my diet, there really are countless options, tons of ingredients to play with and I am able to get plenty of calories (not too mention all the necessary nutrients) without getting bored of the same ol’ things.
Steel Cut Oats with blueberries, banana slices, toasted coconut, goji berries, cinnamon and almond milk. Coffee of course, with almond milk and 1/2 packet of stevia in the raw.
Stuffed Bell Pepper with brown rice, lean ground turkey, onion, zucchini, more bell pepper and a splash of liquid aminos.
Snack bowl with raw almonds, fresh blueberries & a drizzle of blue agave.
Egg white omelette loaded with diced yellow & green zucchini, red bell pepper, sweet onion, spinach & topped with avocado.
Picnic snacks for a day trip. Clementines, apple slices, blackberries, protein bar & green juice. *These Nugo Slim bars are the most “processed” thing in my diet now but the ingredients list 17 grams of plant protein, nuts, cocoa, and stevia. The best option next to Quest bars if you ask me*
And roasted baby brussel sprouts!
This is just a tiny snapshot of what I eat. There are many more protein bars/protein shakes/fruits/baked sweet potatoes and spoons of almond butter.Even though my diet is “clean” I can still do a better job of eating more greens and natural proteins and less bars/powders/butters. But I’m getting there!
I actually have a few “clean” recipes up on the blog already:
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
- Protein-Packed Pancake Parfait
- Cinnamon Spice Roasted Nuts (if you replace the sugar with stevia or honey!)
- Sweet Pear Salsa (obvi the pita chips are out if you are nixing the processed goods.)
- Summer Citrus Shrimp Salad
- Detox Salad (replace dried cranberries with fresh berries)
- My personal favorite: Strawberry Banana Oat cookies. Vegan, clean, and gluten-free!
Guess what DAY it is?!
Meal Prep Day!
Not really, Meal Prep Day was actually Sunday. But today we get to talk about it. :)
When I began Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program, I committed to the nutrition plan which is 100% clean eating. This means 12 weeks of egg white omelettes, lean protein and greens, whey protein shakes, and lots of veggies & fruits. In an effort to ease my hectic school week and stay on track with my diet, I took 4 hours on Sunday to make a week’s worth of clean lunches and dinners. My own little lean cuisines ;)
ON THE MENU:
- Baked seasoned white meat chicken
- Baked Sweet Potatoes
- Brown Rice
- Steamed Broccoli and Green Beans
- Sauteed zucchini & bell peppers
- Chopped spinach, tomatoes and bell peppers (for omelettes)
- Jamie Eason’s Turkey Meatballs
- Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread (girl’s gotta have dessert too.)
Cooking 6 day’s worth of lunches and dinners in one afternoon is an undertaking. My kitchen was covered in piles of cutting boards and measuring cups and tupperware and vegetables.
Packaging them all up into individual portions was fun…I had a whole Mix n’ Match thing going on so that no single meal was exactly the same. Variety, my friends.
I even finished off by baking a CLEAN batch of Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread. Gluten-free, with no added sugar, fats, or butter. This bread is made with ground oats, applesauce, almond milk, protein powder, stevia, & cinnamon. Super healthy/pretty/delicious/clean/&GONE (800 calories for the entire freakin’ pan…)
***Those green things are Stevia packets. I made the rookie mistake of buying a box of 40 packets versus buying an actual box of bulk Stevia. No wonder it was $3 cheaper… I tore and measured out the packets & will get the real deal next time ;) ***
Now that I’ve made it through the first week of meal prepping I’ve learned the importance of organization.
Start here: Get the chicken cleaned and in oven —-> Move on to veggie chopping —-> While the greens are steaming, start up a batch of rice —-> After the chicken comes out of the oven, swap in the sweet potatoes —-> While they bake, start cleaning up dishes —-> After everything is cool enough, weigh and measure out portions and package into containers —-> pop into the fridge or freezer depending on how long they need to last —-> feel accomplished :)