September 29, 2015 by 321go

Don’t be a basic fall pumpkin spice latte drinking you know what….

Fall is officially here. Facebook has told me with pictures of women in boots and yoga pants, talk of hoodies, and the infamous #PSL. Fall can be a great time of year with lots of winter squashes and root veggies coming into season. Farmers markets are still open, pumpkins are popping up everywhere, and the color orange and all its varieties have taken over the bright greens and blues of summer.

Fall can also be disastrous for our waistline as it is the introduction to the holiday season. I will talk more about avoiding weight gain around the holidays in a later blog, but today I am going to focus on Fall drinks. Enter Starbucks.

A grande Pumpkin Spice Latte made with 2% milk and no whipped cream is 310 calories and 47g of sugar. The non-fat variety only drops the calories down to 260 but sugar remains the same.

The Salted Caramel Mocha comes in at 330 calories and 52g of sugar in a Grande with 2% milk and no whipped cream. This could put a diabetic into a coma!

This season Starbucks introduced their Toasted Graham Latte advertising it as a “less sweet treat.” Let’s take a look at the nutrition facts: 300 calories in a Grande and 40g of sugar. Well, they are right – it is less sugar than it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte counterpart, but only by 7 grams!!!

Before we go into the many reasons why these drinks are not good for you, let’s take a minute to think about the popular Fall flavors. Pumpkin Spice – pumpkin is a squash, a real food, often accompanied by the spices cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg. I can see how one could turn this into something to mix into a coffee, I’ve done it. Sounds legit. Except it’s not.

Toasted Graham – First, we don’t toast graham crackers. Second the ingredient list of Graham Crackers includes mostly enriched flour sugar and oils. I asked the barista when it first came out how they got the toasted graham flavor and she said it was from the toasted graham sauce. Sauce? What on earth? How do you make a toasted graham sauce? ……with a lot of “natural flavors” made in a factory.

Sorry to disappoint, but these sugary syrups and sauces are wreaking havoc on your health (and your wallet)! They may not kill you if you only have 1 or 2 each year, but your best bet (for your health and wallet) is to make your own.

If you are really craving a pumpkin spice latte, learn to make one at home! You could always order the skinny version at Starbucks, but it will cost you more – go figure.

Pumpkin Spiced Coffee 25-150 calories/serving *More calories if using coconut milk
1. Brew 6oz. of Pumpkin Spice Coffee (or plain if you don’t have pumpkin flavored)
2. In a small blender, mix 2 tbsp pumpkin with 4oz. of unsweetened almond milk, canned coconut milk, or organic whole milk, ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spices + 1 tsp. granulated or 4 liquid drops of stevia or sweetener of your choice.
3. Heat above mixture and stir into coffee
4. Top with fat free sugar free whipped cream or make coconut whipped cream from a can of full fat coconut milk and sprinkle pumpkin pie spices on top as a garnish.

Salted Caramel Mocha 25-150 calories
1. Brew 6oz. of your favorite coffee
2. Steam 4oz. of unsweetened almond milk, canned coconut milk, or organic whole milk and mix in 1 heaping tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder & 2 pumps of sugar free caramel flavoring (DaVinci or Starbucks brand)
3. Top with fat free sugar free whipped cream or make coconut whipped cream from a can of full fat coconut milk and tiny sprinkle of sea salt.
OR
1. 1 packet of Starbucks Via mocha instant coffee
2. 2 pumps of sugar free caramel flavoring (DaVinci or Starbucks brand)
3. Steam 4oz. of unsweetened almond milk or skim milk and add to coffee
4. Top with fat free sugar free whipped cream and a few turns of sea salt from a grinder

– Coach Jamie

If you are interested in more healthy recipes or getting some professional advice on how to keep your diet working for your waistline, contact Coach Jamie at (240) 339-3268 or info@echealthandfitness.com