Sacrificing Calories For Coffee

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coffee... gotta love it. Coffee and I go back a long way. I started my little sordid affair with it back when I was a teenager. It has played an important role in my morning ritual for as long as I can remember and has gotten me through some tough, late nights as well.

Its warmth is so soothing. Just holding that mug in my hands and softly sipping this nectar of coffee beans brings such calmness and comfort to the moment.

When I found SparkPeople, you can imagine how pleased I was to learn that I could keep it center stage in my morning routine, would still be able to continue to delight in its hypnotic aroma and rich flavor, and could still take on this healthful lifestyle and have successful results.

And it's been working out so very nicely so far -- that is, until this past week and, especially, until this morning. For some reason, the sweetness and the creaminess of my coffee just hasn't been satisfying my palate, so I've increased the brown sugar a bit, increased the half and half a bit, and have now added some skim milk.

I did so enjoy this morning's two cups; however, when I went to track my breakfast, I was upset to learn that I just sacrificed 176 calories, 24 carbs, 7 fat, and 5 protein of my daily target ranges for my lovely morning blend indulgence!

The same thing happened yesterday... and I ended up going over my caloric range by 73 or so.

The thing is this: Now that I'm discovering new whole foods and putting more effort into being mindful of my meal planning, my food intake, and exercising, I don't know that I'm as willing to sacrifice so many of my calories (and other numbers) on the java.

Perhaps it's time to cut out the two tablespoons of half and half and the tablespoon of brown sugar per cup, but if the taste doesn't excite me, then why have it at all?

I definitely can't do black coffee... and under no circumstances will I put artificial sweeteners into my body.

Is it time to say goodbye to the java?

This will take some serious pondering... emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi~ I used to manage a coffee shop. Coffee is my THING! Try this! Drop the half and half all together. Use skim, or 1% and heat it first...it will froth up and get a lot creamier, and sometimes sweeter too...(be careful not to curdle your milk...yuck!) Use natural spices (dash of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice) added to your coffee grounds right before you brew it. I always throw in a pinch of salt too...it enhances the flavor and sweetness of the coffee oils (which is what actually flavors your coffee anyway). Then try using your normal amount of sugar or even possibly less :)
    Try adding these options to your coffee grounds: dash of ground cinnamon, or cinnamon and a couple whole cloves, or pumpkin pie spice, or maybe nutmeg and allspice. Or try adding a drop of vanilla extract (or any other natural extract like almond or hazelnut) to your coffee beverage after the brewing. You will seriously feel like you have your own little european bistro shop in your kitchen! So much better than Starbucks! If you still need a boost...try going out and buying a few unique cute mugs! Presentation can seriously affect the taste and perception of something too. Who doesn't like cute food?!?
    4253 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/29/2009 2:10:16 PM
    Great blog topic! I love all the great comments! (gettin' new ideas) :)
    I feel your pain. I too had to give up my beloved doctored up coffee.. I have found liquid stevia is working great in coffee and teas for the sweetness. Other times I use Devinci S/F flavored syrups. My favorite is German Chocolate Cake.. yummy.. I drink it black most times however. I just can't dream of giving up my coffee....
    4259 days ago
    It had actually somehow never occurred to me to try brown sugar in coffee, and now I don't think I'm going to be able to resist giving it a shot lol

    For my part, I've found that I don't need creamer to enjoy my coffee lately now that I've been using Silk rather than regular milk. The main thing I liked about the creamer was the mellow vanilla flavor it added, and you can get Silk already flavored that way, so it works out well for me. (I do use a bit of Splenda as well, though)

    Maybe you could experiment with how other spices would work? Or perhaps experiment with a different brand of coffee or a different item from the brand... I'm not at all a coffee expert... coffee experts would laugh at my sad efforts to make it... but I would be surprised if the amount of cream and sugar you feel you need doesn't vary a bit with the natural flavors of the type of coffee you're drinking.
    4260 days ago
    Try zapping 1/4 -1/2 c. 1% milk in the microwave til almost a boil and add that to your java. Heating the milk brings out its natural sweetness and creaminess. I don't use any additional sweetener and I get a calcium boost.
    4260 days ago
    Mmmm, coffee! May I respectfully suggest that you might learn to love to drink it black? It takes some getting used to, but OH MY! It's a whole different taste sensation.

    Barring that, a favorite treat of mine is to buy powdered skim milk and whizz it up with water in the blender. It creates this wonderful, thick, foamy (fat free!) froth. I add a dollop of the froth to the top of my coffee, but you could pour in some of the milk as well to lighten your coffee. I do a grind of cinnamon on top and it's like being at the coffee house. Enjoy!
    4260 days ago
  • KARVY09
    Maybe try some of that flavored International Delight/Coffeemate? I don't think there are any artificial sweeteners, and a tbsp is only about 40-50 calories. I love my coffee too!
    4260 days ago
    When I saw the title of this blog, I almost spit my coffee out my nose... LOL.
    But as I was reading, I thought, "WOW, this is so me." I LOVE coffee and have since I was a young teen.

    I've been drinking mine without sugar (or any sweetener) for a long time - so sugar calories weren't a problem. I have learned that 1/4 cup of low fat milk (so I get some calcium for the day) and a drop of vanilla extract (hey - no cals for that!) can really satisfy. If you like your 1/2 and 1/2 (yummy), you can still use that and add the vanilla extract - then you shouldn't need the additional sweetener. Or, maybe you could try honey since you may use less...

    4260 days ago
    I know the feeling. I used to get Starbucks' white chocolate mocha every chance I got... until I made myself aware of the calories in it. A Tall (12 oz) has 370 calories. So now I usually have my own cup at home (50 calories) and don't go to Starbucks nearly as often as I used to. And when I do I order a Tall non-fat latte for 100 calories.
    4260 days ago
    I love coffee. My husband bought me an automatic espresso machine with a plug-in milk pitcher so that all I'd have to do is press a button for my morning lattes. Non-fat milk and espresso - almost no calories. It's been one of our best kitchen investments ever and I haven't missed my beloved irish cream creamer at all!
    4260 days ago
    I love coffe, espresso to be exact... I am using Agava to sweeten it... It is natural and it has less calories than regulare sugar. Plus a teaspoon will go a long way. Give it a try!

    4260 days ago
    I love coffee! i can never ever live without my morning coffee ! it is my way to go through the day! I use nestle coffee mate fat free! did u try it ? and try reducing ur sugar gradually ,you will reach a point where u'd like ur coffee with little bit of sugar!
    4260 days ago
    Coffee has been my drink since the 70's, (high school to be exact). No, I will not part with my cup of joe. I use stevia now and 1 tbsp. hazelnut sugar free creamer. 15 cal. for the creamer, 0 stevia and SP says 5 for the coffee. The powdered version is 30 cal. a tbsp. for the creamer and lightens the coffee up a little more. Can you tell I'm giving you suggestions so you can still drink it, LOL! Some things are just not worth giving up and my coffee is one of them! emoticon
    4271 days ago
    Have you thought of Stevia? It is a natural plant root from Peru. You can buy it at Trader Joe's. I drink coffee with no sugar and fat free milk and I love it. I have to have my morning habit to get me going and I read it is proven to uplift the spirit. It is more than a stimulant that aids in mild depression. in loving kindness, Linda the Gardener emoticon
    4271 days ago
    I like the taste of real sugar in my coffee, but mixing the sweet with half splenda and half sugar keeps the taste but cuts the calories by half!! If you can tolerate the lowerfat milk you'll cut calories by half (I still don't get the concept of fat free half and half, since half and half is half milk and half cream -- fat free would be half milk and half milk???) I also like to steep it with the occassional cinnamon stick piece.
    4272 days ago
    Oh my gosh I know how you feel, I really really miss my morning and afternoon coffee with gobs of French vanilla cremer. I almost rather not have it at all then to try and make a low calorie version of it. However that said, I have switched to fat free half and half (an oxy moron if I ever heard one!) and that Tortoni flavored syrup. It is close but no cigar. Also I like it iced in the afternoon and for some reason being iced it tastes better than hot.
    4272 days ago
    Coffee is my ONE vice! I don't want to give it up, even after seeing how the half and half took a big bite out of my daily calories. So I cut back to two cups per day, which also helped with the calories. I don't use creamer with artificial ingredients, so for me I would rather have less of the real thing. For my hubby, since he uses sugar, we slowly cut back on the amount of sugar he uses. He has adjusted to it. Maybe that would work for you, it's worth a try. Good luck!
    4272 days ago
    I would say take it one day at a time. Cut back just a little bit, where it is hardly noticeable. When you are used to 1 1/2 spoonfuls of the sugar cut back to just 1 and so on. Also, if you start your day with the coffee already in your tracker then you have that many calories to plan with.

    Personally, I HATE coffee! But hot chocolate- couldn't do without it emoticon
    4272 days ago
  • MONTY68
    I also love coffee and the whole time I was on reduced calorie program I still continued with coffee. I don't like it black so I do use coffee mate and approx. 40 calories, I only have 2 cups a day but that had nothing to do with weight, I now have i cup of green tea plain at the end of the day.
    As far as what you need, I read some place recently a suggestion to add a cinnamon stick, not sure why. Also I don't understand the large amount of calories and fat and carbs. Is that what you calculated that 2 cups has in it? Hope that isn't correct although it never effected my 84 pound loss. Good luck with your decision on coffee.
    4272 days ago
    I agree, I love coffee. Have you tried darker roasts? I like french roast, espresso, and italian roast. These have a lot of flavor and I get by with powdered coffee creamer.
    4272 days ago
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