Happy New Year!
Due to our high consumption in the US, coffee has become one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the American diet. However, one of the biggest challenges around coffee consumption is avoiding the temptation to consume high fat, high sugar, high calorie specialty coffee drinks that are so common in today’s coffee culture. 61% of Americans drink coffee daily, and 34% of Americans consume specialty or gourmet coffees on a daily basis. Not only are these drinks more expensive, but they can be big contributors to an unhealthy dietary lifestyle and expanding waistline. This is especially true during the holiday season, when our diet quality tends to be poorer and caloric intakes are stretched well beyond daily recommendations. One specialty holiday Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks contains 370 calories and 42 grams of sugar (over 10 teaspoons!). This accounts for almost double the recommendations from the World Health Organization of no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day.
Though coffee temptations are numerous, it is still possible to have your coffee and eat it too without having to sacrifice your health goals! First, consider specialty coffee drinks as something to be avoided completely or consumed only occasionally as a treat. Second, avoid high sugar, high processed artificial creamers and instead opt for milk which can provide a good source of calcium in your coffee as well. Third, find interesting ways to spice up your plain cup of java by adding cinnamon or some dark chocolate shavings for a touch of sweetness, as well as a splash of milk. If you’re craving a specialty drink, opt for a standard latte or cappuccino rather than the heavily sweetened gourmet drinks. With a little adjusting you’ll be on your way to a healthy lifestyle that includes coffee!
Healthier Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte
1 cup cold brew coffee
1 cup ice
1/4 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 tbs. pumpkin spice
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Divide between two cups and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
2. Be realistic- While setting your goals and creating your plan, make sure that you are setting realistic goals for yourself. Your goals should be big enough to inspire you, but small enough to motivate you as you achieve them. Think about what you can realistically do in one week, then one month, and so on.
3. Pace yourself- Speaking of realistic goals, it's important to take it easy on yourself, especially if you're starting a new routine (or resuming an old one). Start at a manageable pace, cultivate a healthy relationship with physical activity, create habits, and then increase your time/intensity.
4. Track your progress- And not just with the scale. Depending on your personal goals, consider other methods of tracking progress. Maybe it's taking measurements, or maybe it's that one pair of pants. Total Wellness also offers body composition testing and fitness assessments if you'd like a more comprehensive record of your progress. And don't shrug off the small accomplishments. All big changes are made up of a series of small ones, so celebrate those little milestones! You earned them.
5. Rethink rewards- When it comes to celebrating accomplishments, consider rewarding yourself in ways that are consistent with your goals, rather than counter to them. Instead of food, after a great week, maybe you indulge in a massage or a spa day with a friend. Or after meeting your first weight loss goal, you treat yourself to a new outfit or some work out clothes. Celebrate your successes in ways that make you feel even MORE successful!