Fun Fact About Me:
When I was doing my undergrad at the University of Guelph, I worked at Starbucks part time. It was good times for sure, but maybe not the healthiest time in my life(loads of caffeine, sugar, and unlimited free drinks was quite the combination!). But a few things have changed since then, one of which being that I went back to school for Holistic Nutrition, and now I have a few tricks up my sleeve to make those little treat drinks a tad healthier, and a bit better for maintaining blood sugar balance(because I'm all about avoiding that #hangry feeling whenever possible)! So here we go:
1.SWAP OUT THE "CLASSIC SYRUP":
Honestly, that stuff is just a combination of sugars, some of which are artificial and don't do us much good. Instead try swapping out that syrup in any drink for 1-2 pumps of regular vanilla. This has less of an effect on blood sugar than the syrup, and I always go for the regular vanilla because the sugar-free stuff just isn't all that healthy for our bodies. And if all of that is a little too difficult, consider asking for your drinks to be made "half-sweet". I think you'll be surprised at how sweet it still tastes.
2. ASK FOR "LIGHT ICE" WHEN ORDERING COLD DRINKS:
This one is more of a money-saver than anything else. Typically, they fill the the cup up all the way with ice, and then add your drink. But when you ask for less ice, you get more of the drink you paid for!
3. BLENDED MAKES EVERYTHING MORE FUN!
Take the first two options for your favourite cold drink, and ask for it to be blended! I like to order an iced coffee, dairy-free milk(almond or coconut milk), one or two pumps of vanilla, and then blended. Somehow it makes it more fun when it's kind of slushy like that!
4. MORE FAT = BETTER BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE
This tip will CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE! Instead of using the regular cream or milk they provide, ask for FULL FAT or HEAVY CREAM! Just a little science for ya: everything we eat breaks down into sugar, but too much sugar at one time is what causes all sorts of problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, mood imbalances, weight gain, etc. Pure fat does not break down into sugar though. All milks and creams contain a little bit of carbohydrates or sugar. But full fat whipping cream(35% fat), contains zero sugar. The good thing about that is that it is not contributing to a spike in sugar in the blood stream or causing insulin to be released, and it's also working to sloooowww down how quickly the other sugars we've consumed go into the blood and into our cells. And that's ultimately what we want! Not to stop the sugar, but to slow down it's breakdown. So my tip is, add the sugar that you like(or no sugar if that's how you drink your coffee), and ask for full fat whipping cream to be put on the bar for you(they keep the good stuff in the back!). The creaminess alone will be enough that you won't want to drink your coffee the regular way again! *note: at Starbucks, they don't have a dairy-free or vegan option for this tip. But if you want to try it at home and get the same blood sugar effects, try adding full fat coconut milk(usually found in a can at the grocery store).
5. GET THE STARBUCKS APP FOR FREE REFILLS!
Okay, I swear, I don't still work for Starbucks, and this isn't just some secret ploy to get you to spend more money there. This is actually another money-saving tip: any time you order a brewed coffee(hot or iced) or a tea(hot or iced), and you plan on spending some time at Starbucks that day, you are able to get a free re-fill of one of the above options(same day, during the same visit). But you need to have the app to take advantage of this. The good news is, you don't have to use your app to purchase your original drink, and you don't need to have money loaded onto your card. The app just needs to be scanned from your phone so you can redeem your free re-fill. Easy peasy, and you can get 2 coffees or teas for the price of one! Not too bad!