10 Healthy Starbucks Hacks
There’s one on every block it seems in my city of Vancouver. Kind of the beautiful cousin of Seattle, we’re a coffee drinking folk. The grey drizzly rainy days somehow creates the need to be comforted by a hot cup of coffee.
I’m trying to clean up my act and I’ve started by looking at my habits and seeing where I can be more healthy. I have experience behind the counter at Starbucks. I'm using my insider knowledge to help everyone out. I’ve compiled a list of 10 Healthy Starbucks Hacks to help you find balance.
I’ll show you how to hack the Starbucks menu and use it to help rather than hinder you on your wellness journey. Let’s jump right in and find out how to eat healthy at Starbucks!
1. Green smoothie
First I’ll give you my recipe for a “Green Smoothie” at Starbucks. This is the drink that I get when I’m feeling a little peckish and need some energy.
You’ll want to ask for a Chocolate Smoothie in Venti cup with no mocha and six scoops of matcha.
I always get mine with coconut milk! The result is a green smoothie that can help you power through an afternoon slump.
2. Half/Quarter/Half pump sweet
Some of the Starbucks drinks are ridiculously sweet. I’m trying to break my own sugar addiction now so I don’t order any drink with added sugar!
If you feel like you’ve got to have a white mocha, pumpkin spice latte, or vanilla latte, you have to get it less sweet. Ask for it to be half sweet, quarter sweet, or even ask for half a pump of whatever flavour you’re after. Even the innocuous Caramel Macchiato has 240 calories for a grande size but packs 32 grams of sugar.
That’s too much.
According to the World Health Organization, adults shouldn’t exceed 25 grams a day. In one drink, you’re busting your daily allowance for sugar!
3. Add banana
It costs a dollar to buy a banana at Starbucks or add one to your drink. Whenever you’re getting a drink, get a banana too.
Sometimes it’s hard to make sure you have enough fresh fruit in a day. Just quickly eating a banana while you’re on a coffee run is going to help balance your energy levels. Make it a habit and it’s an easy way to stay healthy even at Starbucks
4. Herbal tea latte
Other than plain water, herbal tea is probably the next healthiest drink you can get at Starbucks.
Even I get bored of fruity, mint, and chamomile tea flavours! When I want a little something extra, I’ll make a tea latte out of their herbal tea.
Right now, I like to get a tea latte with 2 bags peach tranquility tea topped with steamed soy milk. The creamy and fruity flavour is lightly sweet and unlike anything on the menu at Starbucks.
5. Tall is tall enough
No matter what you end up ordering, you don’t need to get anything larger than a tall size. It’s 12 fluid ounces and it’s going to be big enough for you.
Go any bigger and you risk overdoing your sugar and caffeine intake. You can even go smaller and order the short size.
6. Non-dairy everything
I can’t stress this enough!
If you’re trying to be healthy you have to eliminate dairy from your diet. It’s just not good for you. You need to get calcium from plants for your best shot at health.
Starbucks is offering up soy, coconut, and now almond milk to cater to the non-dairy market. Soy milk offers the closest texture to milk. Coconut milk is sweet and lightly creamy, and almond milk is thick and creamy with a light taste.
7. Caffeinate with matcha
Try getting a green tea latte and see how you feel. Caffeinating with matcha powder is a great alternative to traditional coffee.
Matcha contains antioxidants and chlorophyll, both of which are healthy for you. I doubt that the quality of the Starbucks matcha is as healthful as some other brands, but it’s worth trying!
8. Avoid the siren call of the pastry case
Just seriously never eat a pastry at Starbucks. They are not fresh and they are not good for you. Not even the little cake pops. Please avoid their siren call.
If you’re absolutely desperate for a snack, grab a banana, bag of apple or kale chips, or a protein plate. The omnipresence of Starbucks makes them a convenient place to get a fast lunch. Don’t fall prey to their food. You’re better off eating something from home!
9. Ask for water
Ask for a glass of water with your order. Drinking more water is always a good idea and sometimes when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just dehydrated.
Try to down a glass of water and then see how much of that coffee you really need!
10. Sweeten with stevia
Going off sugar is hard. It’s like a detox or withdrawal. Consider stevia to be the methadone of sugar addiction.
Never ever use artificial sweeteners like sweet and low or splenda. They’re worse than sugar. They’re terrible for your gut health.
Stevia isn’t a chemical. It’s naturally derived from plants. I add a packet to most of my drinks and smoothies even at home to brighten up the flavour a little.
Thanks for reading my Starbucks hacks!
Let me know in the comments how you like to stay healthy.