Back in the day, there was the coffee pot. There was one at home and maybe one at the office. If you went out schmancy, you’d be offered a cup of coffee with dessert after dinner, but you certainly weren’t sporting a cup between meals or late afternoon. Well, these are modern times. On my one block walk from the train to my office this morning, I counted 5 spots where you could grab a cup of Joe and 17 people walking with a coffee cup in their hand. I know that at any given time of day, I’ll see busy people with a sacred cup going about their lives. If you are one of these people, lemme help you caffeinate well with a few wise tips. The potential for nutritional derailment is everywhere, so it’s important you’re doin’ it right!
Avoid Seasonal Temptations. The biggest mistake you can make at the cafe is “trying” the seasonal items. There is a special every day it seems and it is as important to steer clear of the cup of calories as it is to avoid the pumpkin shaped, triple frosted donuts. You KNOW what works for you when it comes to your morning brew, so don’t mess with it! Every day your body needs some routine, and your coffee plays a big role in that. Coffee drinkers should go for a cup of their favorite brew with a splash of something real to flavor it how you like. Please avoid the salted caramel extra whip ginormous seasonal special. Ditto that for the frozen calorie-laden-chino summer $0.99 deal. Do have a 12 oz dark roast with a splash of cream, or a 16 oz hazlenut with almond milk. Be consistent every day. Your body will respond to steady caffeine intake and you won’t be sucked into sucking down unwanted calories and fat. Of course, your usual should be real coffee, from coffee beans (not an instant powder) and you can absolutely have a splash of milk or cream and maybe even a spoonful of sugar or agave, but nothing chemical or overly processed should be in there. Besides that, the cute barista kind of likes knowing your order by heart.
Treat Your Drink. I’m good with a sprinkle of cinnamon or even a cinnamon stick in your usual morning mug of pleasure. Flavored beans are also thumbs up in my book. Can you add some pumpkin pie spice? Abso. A shot of vanilla extract? Go for it. Yes, your morning pick-me-up can have a little something seasonal to make it interesting, but be sure any additions or substitutions are healthful and don’t counteract your nutritious life efforts.
Try the Alternative. Sometimes you go for a cup of coffee because you’re crashing hard and the angel intern is making a run. Rather than fixing the crash as the stimulus from your morning caffeine wears off with another round of coffee flavored stimulation, have an unsweetened tea, such as Honest Tea that is easy to grab and go, or put in an order for a freshly pressed green juice. I’m also a fan of seltzer and mineral water, which will refresh, rather than super-charge.
Mistake no more at the cafe, friend. Your abs will thank you for it.