What’s in My Cup?

C O F F E E

I cruised through 24 years of my life without needing coffee. And yes, the word need was intentional. This last year coffee and I have entered into a very committed relationship. I started drinking it while traveling for work when many mornings began around 4:30am. And the hotel always had free coffee. Let’s be serious, I will always take advantage of whatever the hotel has for free. But, through testing out all of the different hotel coffee options, I realized it makes a big difference in my energy for the day.

I want to first caution you to drink it in moderation. Coffee is not something that our bodies need to survive, although some of us may feel like it. None of these suggestions are meant to be taken advantage of five times a day. I limit myself to one cup of coffee a day as a jumpstart to have a smoother morning. Coffee can also cost waaaaay more than it’s worth and can pack on unnecessary calories. Hopefully these suggestions will help you develop some healthier coffee choices or at least give you some more variety!

I’m going to break this coffee-blog down as follows:

  1. Health-benefit filled coffee
  2. Various Creamer Types
  3. Cold Coffees
  4. Ordering On-The-Go

1. Health-benefit Filled Coffee

  • Bulletproof Coffee
    • This is a high-fatty coffee that is often used by people who abide by a keto-diet or low-carb. Do some research on this type of coffee before you just start churning up butter and oil with coffee
    • Recipe: Blend coffee, 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter or ghee, 2 Tbsp coconut oil. Use a high power blender because they don’t blend easily. You can also add some stevia or sugar-free sweeteners for taste. Many also add collagen to the mixture. If you don’t like the idea of butter you can sub with a dairy-free creamer.
    • Benefits? Credited for providing people with extra energy over normal coffee and fat loss. This is all a part of a ketogenic diet (which I don’t follow, but I know works for many). I like to provide you all with more than just my opinion. To check out keto… visit here.
  • Collagen Peptides
    • This is a simple, quick add-in that has many health benefits.
    • Collagen peptides are a powder form of collagen derived directly from animal collagen. You can also find similar collagen from plants. I use products from a company called Vital Proteins.
    • What do Collagen Peptides do? They are an amazing source of protein, so it can help keep you fuller in the morning with breakfast & coffee. It is great for digestion and gut health. If you have tummy issues, many have seen collagen peptides making it feel better and have better digestion. It increases energy and greatly helps to ease soreness. I have noticed a difference myself between gym soreness with and without the collagen peptides.
    • If you are looking to start adding collagen to your coffee, check out Collagen Peptide Creamer by Vital Proteins. It’s a way to get creamer and collagen all in one.
  • Protein Coffee
    • This is one of my favorites!
    • It is great way to have breakfast-on-the-go, a snack, an extra dose of protein and an easy way to make a trip to Starbucks a healthy one.
    • Order or make an espresso shot (or two if you’re really struggling) and mix with a pre-made protein shake. My favorites are either Premier Protein or Iconic Protein. They are both relatively cheap and can be found at most grocery stores/Walmart/Target. I recommend the Premier Protein in caramel flavor. You can also mix it with a cup of coffee, the protein shake won’t be as strong and you’ll have more liquid to drink. Just depends on what works for you!

2. Various Creamer Types

If you’re anything like me (and most of the world) creamer in your coffee is a must-have. Adding creamer can also mean adding in un-wanted dairy and a plethora of calories. I’ve found a few ways to combat a few of these disasters.

  • Sugar-free Creamer
    • Every grocery store has the typical creamer brands that make flavors in sugar-free style. There is a small difference between the taste of them and the original “all-sugar” flavors.
    • The reduction in sugar also helps to cut the calories almost in half.
  • Fat-free Creamer
    • Same as above, you can find these just about anywhere. The fat-free can help reduce some calories
  • Dairy-Free Creamer
    • NutPods is one of the most popular brands. You can order online or find it at Publix.
    • There are other brands of dairy-free creamers and almond milk creamers that can be found at the local grocery store.  Califia Farms tastes great and so does Natural Coffee Mate. Click on their names to check out the brands!
    • Don’t immediately be turned off to these because they are dairy free! They taste almost exactly the same and they can help reduce the calories that is in your typical cup of coffee.
  • Coconut Creamer
    • This is my new go-to!
    • The coconut milk creamer helps to “milk-y” (can’t think of a better adjective for that) down the coffee and then I add a tbsp of regular creamer on top of it to add flavor.
    • I use Trader Joe’s brand of this and it costs under $2.00.

3. Cold Coffees

I am a total coffee newbie, so this is where I began my coffee experience. I spent a couple of weeks just purchasing various brand of Cold Brew and Iced Coffee from the store. If you want to start doing this – a couple a tips… They are much more expensive than just buying and making your own coffee. If you are just wanting to dip your toes in the coffee pool this can be a good, non-overwhelming option. If you go this route, be sure that whatever blend you get has “no added sugars.” Pre-made coffee doesn’t have to have any sugar to be made, but many companies will try to sneak it in there on you.

4. Ordering One The Go

Here are some great options if you are in a pinch and need to order on-the go from Starbucks. I’m sure other places will have things similar to this!

  • Order Up:
    • Mix one or two shots of espresso with protein drink (order in vent cup with ice) – best part is this doubles as coffee and breakfast
    • Iced coffee mixed with protein shake
    • Cafe Americano
    • Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato or Skinny Latte
    • Grande Skinny Vanilla Lattee with nonfat Milk
    • Iced Coffee with sugar free syrup of choice and nonfat or almond milk
    • Skinny Soy Cinnamon Dulce Latte
      • Tall Latte with soy milk and 2 pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dulce syrup
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask about fat-free and sugar-free options and ways that you can cut corners. They are used to those questions and usually can get them answered pretty quickly!

If you don’t love coffee – don’t try to force yourself to fall in love with it. Try your hand at a hot tea if you are wanting a morning drink that comes with a little extra energy. Tea has just as much caffeine as coffee and can be sweetened with just a single pack of Splenda!

Hopefully these suggestions have given you a few new tips and ways to have a healthier relationship with coffee. Because let’s be real, this is never a break-up than any of us need to go through.

-O

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