Write-On, Wednesday: Starbucks is Making Me Fat!

I am a writer.  I am a mama writer.  That means I am tired a lot.  It also means that I can’t always write at home because I have too many “mom duties” calling my name, not to mention all  that noise which doesn’t lend well to a conducive writing period.  So, I go  to coffee shops.  More often than I should. 

And when I am at these coffee shops, I order things to drink and sometimes to eat.  After all, those Caramel Macchiatos taste so much better when I can munch on a piece of oooey-gooey reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake.  So I sit and think and type and think and nibble and sip.  And get fat.  Smile. 

My yoga friend said, “Why not just snack on fruit while you write?”  Because, my yoga friend, carbs taste so much better.  Okay, I’ll give myself a break: I started ordering the protein plate at Starbucks because 1) I’m vegetarian and could stand a little extra protein and 2) it’s probably healthier than a sour cream donut (uh, ya think?). 

I really try to get the best possible thing for myself when I got into these places…skim milk, small–not jumbo, and a plate of reduced-fat carbs.  I know, I know…they are not calorie free!  Believe me, I know. 

When I head into Caribou, it’s the customized oatmeal I am after.  Does adding cranberries and almonds make it healthier?!  Perhaps.  By-the-way, Caribou (and Starbucks) now have these new egg white veggie sandwiches which are actually very yummy (lower cal and higher protein than a carb-laden treat).  They have become my lunch on many occasions.  I’m trying, really I am. 

So, what’s the deal with caffeine–the other reason I feel I have to  go to a coffee shop?  I need a little buzz to get the ideas percolating, as we all do.  Here’s a little refresher:

(1 cup = 6 oz of brewed coffee.  So, 1.5 cups of coffee = 9 oz. which is still 3 oz short–ha–of a tall (small) at Starbucks–which is 12 oz.) 

  • 1-1.5 cups of coffee: Boosts your alertness and mental performance.
  • 1.5-2.5 cups of coffee: Gives you a little more staying power for your exercise.
  • 2-3 cups of coffee: Increases your risk of miscarriage and low-birth-weight babies.  (Talk to your doc if you’re expecting)
  • 3.5-4.5 cups of coffee: Produces higher levels of insulin and reduces insulin sensitivity, increasing your diabetes risk.
  • 4-5 cups of coffee: Can cause nervousness, insomnia, irregular heart rates/rhythms. 

(Source: Parenting Magazine, November 2010)

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