Coffee Savy

coffee savy picNow in days, walking into a coffee shop can be a bit intimidating. Not only are the drinks at coffee shops complicated and European sounding, the sizes are just as confusing.  To cut some of the stress you experience while translating the menu, I thought I’d explain some of the basic drink options, and the best ways to order without busting your diet.

Latte / Mocha Latte
Let’s start with the classic Latte. This is a popular favorite drink to on the menu, because it is simple and not too intimidating. Lattes are made up espresso and steamed milk, topped with a little foam.  Mocha Latte, is simply a latte with dark chocolate sauce added. It you’re someone who likes your drink sweet; try it with skim milk and a sugar-free flavoring.  A Mocha Latte is about 330 calories, verses a classic Latte that has only 190 calories.

Similar to lattes the Cappuccino is solely steamed milk and espresso. The only difference is that the Cappuccino has more foam on top. That’s it. For someone who doesn’t like the taste of steamed milk, ask for your Cappuccino dry, this just means less milk and more foam. For a 16 oz. drink you’re looking at around 140 calories.

A Macchiato is one of the most commonly forgotten about drinks, thanks to Starbucks. Unlike the Starbucks version, a real Macchiato is just espresso topped with foam. If you’re looking for a caffeine kick, it will definitely get the job done.  The real Macchiato has about 6 calories, but the Starbucks version has about 240 calories in a 16 oz. cup. Ouch! Try it skinny (Skim milk, sugar free flavoring, and no whip cream) to save about 100 calories!

Red Eye
Speaking of getting your caffeine fix, a Red Eye can also offer that. This drink is coffee and espresso. Although this may seem tempting when tired, be careful about your caffeine intake. You should be drinking twice as much water as coffee to stay properly hydrated. This coffee beverage has roughly about 10 calories in a 16 oz cup.

A favorite to many (well, to me at least) the Americano consists of espresso and hot water. Ultimately it tastes similar to coffee with the main difference being that it has more caffeine.  For this delicious beverage enjoy it for only 6 calories!

The Frappuccino was basically developed for those who do not like the taste of coffee but want the caffeine… and calories. They are blended Lattes with added caramel or chocolate as well as topped with whipped crème. If you were trying to be careful about which coffee drinks to order, I’d stay away from this one. BUT if you are an absolute lover of the Frappuccino, try to ask for non-fat milk as well as passing on the whipped crème and extra toppings on top. This option will bring your calorie count down to about 250 versus the average 410 calorie drink. This is also based off of the 16 oz. size drink.

Overall the best drinks to order are the ones not including extra whip crème, flavoring, or toppings. The least calorie drinks include Red Eyes, Americanos, Coffee, or Esspresso. Although the Lattes, Mochas, and Frappuccinos are yummy, try to not make those an everyday drink or your diet will suffer. Perhaps even making them your special occasion drinks!

Another option to think about is going decaf or half-caf. If your dietary needs do not allow you to drink caffeinated drinks, ask for DECAF. Most of the time any of the drinks listed above can be made with decaf coffee/ decaf espresso. Or you can ask for half-caf. which is half the amount of caffeine.  According to the Mayo Clinic, the average adult can drink up to 400 mg of caffeine a day and still be OKAY. This totals to around 4 cups of coffee.

Whichever the coffee drink is that you prefer, I hope this helps you to decipher the menu next time you so bravely step into a coffee shop. There’s nothing worse than ordering something you don’t know what is that, just to find out it is filled with hidden calories!

* The calorie counts were taken from the official Starbucks Coffee nutritional facts sheet and are subject to change according to where to buy coffee. They are meant to be rough estimates. *

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong,

Mary Marren

The ‘No Diet’ diet

No diet photoBy: Mary Marren

I recently started following a fitness guru on twitter. She tweeted about this 21-day diet where you don’t eat any sweets, chips, fast food, or drink anything but water. The first thing I thought to myself was that that would be a piece of cake (figuratively speaking of course). Normally I eat a pretty well-balanced diet, only allowing an occasional treat for myself, so I figured that I could get through this 21 days worry-free.

Day one comes along and instantly the first thing I think about when I wake up is breakfast. What I should eat? What should I not eat? How much should I eat? Over and over again I found myself obsessing about what I was eating. It was almost as if this obsessing overtook my every thought, and soon enough I found myself eating everything. Even though it had only been one day, it was like I hadn’t eaten chocolate for three years. Suddenly I NEEDED sweets and junk food.

It is a ridiculous thought, but I starting thinking that this “diet” was actually having a reverse effect on my body! The more I thought about eating healthy, the more I obsessed about eating healthy, which lead to me think I hadn’t had unhealthy food in a life time and I needed it.  Once I made this discovery I started asking my friends and family if they had felt the same way, and to my surprise most of them did.

Most people who I had talked to about dieting agreed that it more often than not lead them to over eating as well. It’s interesting how when people obsess about what they are eating they tend to eat more than people who naturally make healthier choices without the label of a “diet.”  

So I say forget the term “diet.” Just forget about it! Call me crazy, but when I wasn’t wrapped up in dieting, my actual diet was great! Sure, have a treat now and then, but when you constantly are tracking the last time you treated yourself to ice cream and the next time you can eat it, your mind becomes your diet! There is so much more to life than obsessing about what to eat and what not to eat. Needless to say I stepped away from the twitter guru’s diet, and stepped into my own diet. The “no diet” diet. I find that when I don’t feel forced into eating healthy food, I naturally do.

Now sometimes not having any rules on what to eat can be just as harmful as having too many rules. So to help guide you along try taking a few steps! For one, try limiting the amount of times you eat out. Stopping for a quick meal at taco bell may seem harmless, but trust me, it adds up. Try to look at eating out as a treat, and not a routine. Also, don’t go grocery-shopping hungry. That just says trouble. When you buy food when you’re starving, more likely than not, you’ll buy anything and everything that looks good. Make a list when you go grocery shopping and stick to it! That way you’re in and you’re out without lingering in the chips aisle. Another tip is not to drink your calories. Between soda, beer, and cocktails calories add up quick so be conscious of what you’re drinking.

Stay Healthy, Stay Strong
-Mary Marren

Staying fit freshman year

Freshmen 15 photo

By: Kenzi Weidman

Leaving home and starting college is never an easy thing to do, especially when it comes to making healthy choices all on your own. I grew up in a household where healthy food was the only thing in the fridge. It was perfect because not only was it easily accessible, but I also didn’t have to pay for it myself. Coming to school and seeing the all-you-can-eat buffets, unlimited desserts, and the ability to eat on my meal plan until 2AM definitely was tempting.

 Then there is that phrase “freshman 15”. No one wants that, especially if that 15 pounds continues to add on every year in school. Here are some tips that might help you in college with maintaining your current body during you first year away from home:

Tip #1: You don’t have to “do lunch” everyday. Planning a “lunch date” with your friends sometimes causes you to over eat and not think about what you’re eating. It is totally ok to splurge once in awhile and have that greasy cheeseburger and french fries that your meal plan offers; you need to feed your cravings once in awhile. A way that I turn that burger into a healthier option would be veggies veggies veggies! Add lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and onions, even cucumbers if they’re available.  Not only will these veggies fill you up along the way, but also they give your meal more flavors and healthy nutrients your body needs.

Tip #2: Take advantage of the healthy options, like that unlimited salad bar. It’s not every day you can have any vegetable on your salad, or pick from any dressing you can think of. All the fruit there is too offer…GRAB IT! Fruit, whole grains, meats, and all the other healthy options you can get…take advantage of it because it is expensive to buy on your own.

Tip #3: When there is a fitness center on campus, buy a membership. Especially when it is in the basement of your res hall! Treadmill, bike, elliptical, weight benches, or whatever you like…use it. Not only will it help keep you healthy, but it can also help you keep stress levels under control.

Tip #4: Walk or bike to class. Don’t take the easy way out and think that driving your car or hitching a ride with a friend is better. Most of the time, where you have to park your car is further than if you would have just walked in the first place.

Tip #5: Try your hardest to not eat after every “night out.” Eating after 9PM is one of the worst things you could do. It’s tempting though, right!? Try limiting it to once or twice a week! After all, do you really need it? Did you need it before?

Tip #6: Make sure you participate in at least 1 intramural sport. They are a fun way to be active and still have fun and hang out with your friends.

Tip #7: Educate yourself. Take a nutrition class as an elective. I guarantee it will be one of the most informational, beneficial classes you can take here. Professor Ann Garvin will blow your mind!

There are so many easy, little choices you can make that will help you combat the ‘Freshman 15’. If you have any other tips to help live a healthy lifestyle on campus, please comment and share your knowledge with others. It is always great to hear what other people do to stay healthy on campus!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going.”

-Kenzi Weidman

Avoiding the Freshman 15

Freshman 15 PhotoBy: Eric Hess

On top of making new friends, getting good grades and living on your own you have to worry about the ‘freshman 15’ too? You’re on your own and have the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, so it’s hard to make the right choices. We’ve all been there, but if you want to beat the dreaded ‘freshman 15’ here are some tips.

Make time for exercise. You may have been an all-star back in high school but if you aren’t playing any sports now and you aren’t getting any exercise, chances are you aren’t going to stay the same weight. Make sure to get involved with intramurals or club sports. Make use of the awesome gyms we have on campus. Go for run around our beautiful campus. There are almost always people playing pick-up games of basketball in the Williams Center, too, and they are always looking for another one to play! It doesn’t matter how you are getting your exercise as long as you are. The Warhawk Fitness Facebook page has all the details on hours of operation, fitness challenges and exercise motivations. Maybe I should be more clear…WALKING to house parties does NOT count!

Plan your meals. Planning your meals allows you for enough time to eat your food and help you make healthier decisions. Running on fast food all day isn’t going to help you stay fit. Set nutrition goals or mentally prepare yourself for the buffets at the dining halls! In fact, you can see what is on the menu before you go to eat. Check it out!

Watch what you eat. Just because mom and dad aren’t around to tell you what to eat doesn’t mean than you should eat cookies and ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have some self-control and your body and brain will thank you. Remember the proportion of food groups you should be eating: about half of your plate should be fruits and veggies, with the other half being whole grain foods and protein! Color your plate!

Avoid stocking your dorm with loads of junk food. Have healthy snacks in your dorm room to help avoid the temptation of having an entire meal of junk food. There’s plenty of healthy food that you can find at the local grocery stores that are cost-efficient options, and just because the food is there doesn’t mean you have to eat it. Eating because you are stressed or nervous aren’t good reasons to be eating. Make sure you are conscious of every food you put into your mouth. This is your body…you only have got one to live in!

Avoid liquid calories. Alright. This one is quite the challenge for most of us as college students, because you’re most likely going to be having the occasional drink or two. Well, when you do, try and be smart about it. When you’re out drinking try and stay away from food. We all seem to want toppers and lots of greasy and fatty foods when we’re out. It may be a challenge, but how bad do you want to keep that freshman 15 off?

With tips like these and a little self-control I have confidence in each and every one of you to keep your freshman 15 off and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We love hearing from you guys, what are your tips to stay healthy during the school year?

Yesterday you said tomorrow.
Eric Hess