Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to survive your daily coffee shop trip

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it before but I work at a coffee shop aka a huge non-clean-eater friendly environment. I literally hand out insulin bombs in the form of croissants, muffins, scones and bagels. Maybe someday we'll figure out how to make calorie free, nutrient filled, fluffy croissants. Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Along with the people like me who work in these places, coffee shops are a part of many people's daily lives. Obviously this must be true since Sbucks is the third largest fast food chain right now. Instead of telling you to avoid coffee shops all together I think its best to know how to navigate the menu.

First off, let's just start with the basics. Whatever the calorie count on any pastry, drink, etc. says... it's most likely low. I can't say that for sure, but I'd bet my next paycheck that they're low on average.

Secondly, if you're trying to lose weight you don't want to drink away your calories with a 500-1,000 calorie blended mocha. I think many people underestimate the calorie content and hormonal impact of their morning coffee. Too much sugar tells your body "store this." This is not what you want if your goal is to lose weight. Your morning latte may be the reason your pants are getting tighter despite the fact that you're eating a clean breakfast.

Remember, I'm all about meeting people in the middle and slowly coming to the cleanest lifestyle that they can maintain. If a coffee run is part of your every day routine and the cold turkey method does not work for you, start by making small changes. You have to know yourself; some people need the cold turkey method (aka staying completely away from certain foods and drinks) others cannot handle such an immediate and drastic change long term and both are fine. Figure out which one you are and work with that method the best you can!

Here are a few tips to get you moving in the right direction...
  • Ditch the whipped cream. Whipped cream can add so many unnecessary calories its ridiculous.
  • Get your favorite drink in a smaller size.
  • If you typically get both a food and a drink item make yourself a deal: you only get one or the other, not both. 
  • Try drinking coffee with cream and sugar. It may not be perfectly clean, but its definitely not as bad as a 400 calorie drink.
  • Don't be afraid to customize your order because it is just that, your order. The menu is just a guideline to get you moving in the right direction but your drink is made to order. "Non-fat, half the powder, no whip cream, etc."
  • Bring your own sweetener packets. I make a non-fat latte every day for a woman who has us add her own stevia packet to the drink for her.

To get even cleaner and essentially leaner, here are a few more pieces of advice:
  • Drink coffee with cream, or black if you can stomach it, no sugar
  • Choose coffee with cream over a latte
  • Drink hot tea
  • Go for black iced coffees (or with light cream) and plain iced teas
  • Snack on mixed nuts or fresh fruit if they're offered
  • Oatmeal if it's offered (no toppings)
Stay away from anything that sounds too good to be true because well, it probably is.

Do you drink coffee?
Is a coffee run part of your normal day?


  1. Ok, as someone who works retail.....and has different views from what she's selling I am SO curious! If you can tell or get the vibe someone is trying to make a healthier choice do you tell them any of this??

    I think it'd be awesome if you started throwing out comments like "hey you don't want to be drinking all your calories today" :) I'd totally do that b/c I'm far too honest and blunt. lol

    Great post! don't you think it's crazy when you have to work somewhere that is doing the exact opposite example of how you personally live?? crazy

  2. Well that just takes the fun out of my whole order. LOL Seriously though, thanks for these tips! Some of those changes are pretty manageable.


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