health, healthy, paleo, soy, starbucks, water

Why Starbucks and I are going on a break

Investing in my health means being honest with myself about what I put in my body. As I ordered my Starbucks Grande Caramel Macciato on Sunday for my “cheat day” I had to wonder what choices I’m making for myself. Sure, Starbucks is delicious but not any kind of investment in my health or my wallet for that matter!

1. The truth about “sugar free” syrup So first things first about going to Starbucks, they advertise making their drinks more healthy (less calories, sugars, carbs) by ordering them “skinny”. This means using sugar free syrup and skim milk. It really surprises me to see on Instagram that a lot of my weight loss/bariatric friends post their favorite Starbucks drinks which include up to 10 pumps of SF syrup. Say what? Now, I promise you I am not judging anyone with what they order or where they chose to save calories or whatnot. What is really concerning is how society makes SF seem so tempting and makes us think we are making better choices.

Still with me or just think I am secretly judging you? Hopefully you’re still reading and giving me a chance! So it was only a year and a half or so ago that I really understood why SF products weren’t for me. My favorite Starbucks drink was a grande skinny caramel macciato, SF syrup and skim milk and I loved it. I thought it was an obviously better solution to the calories in the more sugary drinks and I could still enjoy a caffeine pick me up.

So why is SF bad? Isn’t better to have no calories or carbs? That’s a good point but don’t you wonder what’s in there? Chemicals. That’s what’s in there. Chemicals that are not good for the body. In fact, they often increase your appetite for sugar because the brain still thinks it’s getting sugar, I think The Skinny Confidential’s post on Starbucks sums it up perfectly. You can also check out this article on Starbucks SF syrup. So that means no skinny lattes for me.

2. Soy milk I love ordering a cinnamon dolce latte with soy because I don’t have dairy (paleo) if I can avoid it and I like the added vanilla flavor. That right there is a problem because what makes the vanilla flavor are chemicals, which obviously are just as bad as ordering SF syrup. Foodbabe posted a great article on Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Lattes which went pretty viral and changed a lot of people’s minds about ordering them. Once I read her article, I never ordered one again. But it really should have sunk in more about what is in their soy. Carrageenan is scary and when you start reading about it, it definitely makes me rethink my ordering. Really, this makes me rethink soy in general.

3. High amount of sugar and carbs. If I could just drink black coffee life would be great. Granted I would still have to worry about the pesticides that apparently are contained in the actual Starbucks coffee (and other places) I’m sure but I don’t know how extreme I am yet so I would probably still drink it. Since I love sweetness and my favorite drink is a grande cinnamon dolce latte, I am getting 260 calories with 44g carbs and 38g sugar. Love ya Starbucks but that is not worth the work I’d have to do at the gym to make up for it.

4. The cost. Let’s face it, I don’t need to pay for bad nutrition even though I love the baristas and the way the coffee tastes. I would rather go to a CorePower class or two or buy something cute than waste money for empty calories. With everything in my life I want to buy and the money I would love to save for retirement and whatnot, I just don’t need to spend money on a want like this, when it’s definitely not a need.

So, until I can learn to love an unsweetened coffee and deal with adding some organic stevia, which I don’t really enjoy, I am going on a break. My wallet and body will thank me. I can always grab a tea if necessary and add some of my own honey if I want something warm. Plus, I really need to make sure I drink even more water because when my lapband is tighter I am less thirsty for some reason. This doesn’t mean I will never have Starbucks but it will truly become a treat for me. I will instead be using my Life Factory water bottle more, adding some cucumber and enjoying the hydrated and healthy life. Plus, if I am really missing coffee in my life I will try The Sweaty Bettys Bulletproof coffee that she has been drinking and enjoying and that I’ve seen on some paleo sites.