Sure, coffee isn’t the best beverage to be putting into my body every morning.
I should choose green tea. Or water. Or fresh-pressed juice from my juicer.
But I don’t.
I. Choose. Coffee.
Yes, I’m OWNING IT.
(And frankly, at this point, it’s a good thing I’m not reaching for the vodka at 9am. Because anyone who’s raised two boys under 2 1/2 years old knows that sometimes, you just “wish” you’d just accidentally poured Kahlua into your mug, instead of creamer.)
But, I HAVE made a conscious effort to make my morning coffee fix a little (tiny bit) healthier.
First off, I used to be that person who had some “coffee with her creamer.” You know what I mean. The coffee’s basically a blonde color by the time I’m done dousing it with straight half & half, and sugar that I’d pour directly from the sugar bowl into my mug. (Why dirty a spoon when I don’t need it? And, I assure you, I didn’t need it when I was consuming 5 tablespoons of sugar per cup. Ewwwwww.)
When I started becoming more health conscious, I switched to fat-free half & half, and Splenda. It seemed like a better decision because there was less fat, and I wasn’t consuming straight sugar. Fair enough. I never had an issue with it.
But then, I signed up for a body transformation challenge through my boot camp, and among the requirements were quitting sugar substitutes and almost all dairy.
So I tried it. Like many healthy diet changes, you have to ask yourself: what do I REALLY have to lose? (The answer is: nothing.)
I’m glad I had a go-get-it attitude because, as it turns out, I felt AMAZING when I had no dairy and no sugar substitutes. In all honesty, I don’t really know why. (I could Google it right now and come up with an extra paragraph or two on why fat-free half & half has so many chemicals and Splenda is so unnatural. But I want to be authentic. So I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on any of that. Because I’M NOT.)
But I do know this: I FELT SO MUCH BETTER.
I’m not an afraid-of-chemicals kind of gal, but feeling better was enough for me. So I went with it!
How I made my morning coffee a little healthier
First off, 1 to 2 cups of coffee instead of 3 to 4. I stick to this. Well, most days. Like I said, I do what I can.
Instead of fat-free half & half, I use coconut milk. I buy the 2-pack at Sam’s Club, and it’s not even that expensive (like $2.50 per half gallon). Plus, I can also use coconut milk for smoothies, so it’s a win-win!
Instead of Splenda, I try to use coconut sugar. (My boot camp instructor told me that coconut sugar has the lowest glycemic index of pretty much any sugar.) So I white-knuckled it at Fresh Market and paid like $12 for a bag of coconut sugar. Yes, the cheapest woman alive spent $12 on her morning coffee fix. (BTW, I just realized it’s only $6 if you order it on Amazon. #cheapskatefail)
The combination of the coconut milk and coconut sugar creates a deep, rich flavor in my coffee that I actually LOVE! Now, every morning when I drink it, it’s a little heavier and a little richer, and I love that I actually feel like I can taste the coffee flavor more. I’m not covering it up with fat and sugar. And of course, it feels awesome to know that I’m putting better things into my body.
(Now, I gotta keep it real and tell you that I don’t always get coconut sugar. For one, I go through a bag a week, and I can’t be spending $48 a month on the stuff. That and I can barely get my main grocery store shopping done each week, much less a special trip to Fresh Market with two kids. But hey, I’m owning it. And you know what? I DO WHAT I CAN. That’s all I CAN do.)
Do you have any other tips for making your morning beverage routine a little healthier? I have a few friends who started juicing daily and no longer have a need for caffeine in the morning. I’d love to work toward that. Please share in the comments section below.
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