Healthy, Low Cal Starbucks Drinks

Low-Cal Basic And Seasonal Iced Coffee Orders On A Budget

For all the coffee and PSL addicts out there, I got you covered

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As someone who thrives on caffeine, just like many other college students, the constant need and desire for it can get expensive depending on how often and what you order. Also depending on what you order, you could be getting more of a sugar rush than a caffeine kick.

Personally, I don't like sugary, high calorie drinks. Throughout the years I've been drinking coffee, I have spent the time experimenting different ways to order coffee so that it is on the healthier side, and that tastes good to drink (because why waste calories drinking something if it doesn't taste good?)

Here's a list of my healthiest go-to iced coffee drinks :) They are all definitely under 100 calories– even ventis!

1. (Basic) Iced Coffee w/ Milk

Grande is ~$3.55

Order your iced coffee unsweetened to save on calories and sugar.

Choose a milk if you can't tolerate the bold taste of iced coffee.

I prefer almond milk because it has less calories and sugar– depending where you go they may use unsweetened or sweetened almond milk. (Almond milk is also vegan friendly).

**Sugar in the raw (brown packets at Starbucks mix station) is something I throw in if I want it on the sweeter side– it's better to add natural sugar vs a syrup

2. (Basic) Iced Coffee, Milk + Flavor

Grande ~$4.19

Order your iced coffee the same way as above, but then add a sugar free flavor.

I always go for the skinny mocha sauce (two pumps is good for a grande size if you really like chocolate).

**The skinny mocha is sugar free and obviously made from chocolate so it is more natural than a liquid syrup.

I know there is a debate between regular syrup vs. sugar free syrup– but in my world, I want to save the calories and skip the excess sugar. I'll take the processed sugar alcohol, thank you.

3. Bold (Plain Black Iced or Hot Coffee)

Grande (hot coffee) – ~$2.39

Grande (iced coffee) -~2.89

Order your iced coffee unsweetened! If you want to save calories, don't go for the cream. If you really need a liquid to take some of the flavor away from the coffee, ask for a splash of milk!

**Add sugar in the raw or another sweetener on the mixing station of you really can't stand the taste!

**Liquid stevia could also be purchased at a grocery store for another healthier alternative and just mix in yourself!

(SEASONAL) Pumpkin Iced Coffee!

Grande - ~$3.55

Obviously when it is Fall and you are a coffee lover, you HAVE TO HAVE a pumpkin spice latte at some point. But if you are like ~most~ PSL lovers, you want one all the time. PSLs may become your go-to coffee order in the Fall before Winter drinks are released.

Last year I experimented and found an order that is healthier, cheaper and still tastes good!

1) Order unsweetened iced coffee

2) Ask for almond milk

3) Ask for 2 pumps of pumpkin (depending on size choice and your taste preference this may change)

4) Ask for 1 pump of sugar free cinnamon dulce syrup

With this version, you are cutting the pumpkin sauce in half and making the base of your drink more iced coffee than milk. You will save calories and sugar by reducing both!

(SEASONAL) Peppermint Iced Mocha Iced Coffee!

Grande ~$3.55

This is my favorite Starbucks drink of all time. I cannot wait until November 1st when holiday drinks are dropped.

1) Order an unsweetened iced coffee

2) Order either nonfat milk or soy milk – almond doesn't taste the best with this one, but choose whatever you want, because again coffee will be the base of this drink, so don't need to stress about milk calories.

3) Ask for skinny mocha sauce (I like 3 pumps in a grande)

4) Then ask for 1 pump of peppermint syrup – 2 if you like it really strong and minty.

**Unfortunately, the sugar free peppermint syrup was discontinued, so regular syrup is the only way to go. Each pump has ~15 calories from sugar.

Same as the PSL, you are switching the base of your drink from milk to coffee, which saves calories. You are also switching from regular mocha to skinny. You are also cutting the peppermint syrup by half, which also saves!

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To The Girl Who Doesn't Party In College

They are rare, I know.
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I know what you all are thinking, she is just writing the article to brag on herself or to show the world the kind of person she is. No, I am writing this article to the girl out there who feels as if she is alone.

Not being a part of the party season is not the most popular thing to do on a college campus.

Most people spend their days thinking about what they will do at night. Life pretty much revolves around the next party. But for people like me, it isn't spent thinking about alcohol or the next party I'm going to attend. And that can get pretty lonely.

It is not like I sit and wallow in my sadness or ever feel like my friends leave me out because I don't drink. I have great friends that support every decision I make.

But, some are not that lucky.

Some girls don't have the support system like me and I am here to tell you to never compromise the person you want to be just because you don't fit in. If you don't want to party, don't give in just because your friends are pressuring you into. Not to sound cliche, but find new friends because they are not your real ones.

Choosing to stay true to you will pay off in the end, and you won't regret it. I promise.

I don't know why you choose to not attend the party scene, but I would be hindering my calling if I didn't tell you why I don't. I know this guy, and his name is Jesus. He is my best friend and the person I talk to about everything. It is because of Him that I decided to not party, to set an example for the people around me.

But, I am also not 21. So I don't think, by any means, that me having a margarita when I turn 21 is hurting my reputation or my testimony.

I firmly believe that alcohol isn't a sin when consumed in the right ways. I also don't ever see myself as a partier, 21 or not. Partying is a way of conforming and a way of becoming what this fallen world deems acceptable.

So to the girl who fails to be the typical college partier, I commend you. I look up to you. I respect you. I want you to know how rare you are. You choosing to not party and rise above the college standard is something you will never regret. I don't believe that my college years are boring because of the way I decide to live my life. I wish that I could befriend each and every girl relating to this article.

So, when those Friday nights get boring, remember that you are not alone. You are rising above the standard.

Sincerely,

The girl who doesn't party in college

Cover Image Credit: Krisztian Hadi / Flickr

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More Burgers, More Food to Talk About

February of last year I wrote my very first post about Little Bad Wolf's highly underrated burger in Chicago. Give that one a read, my detail is comical – no joke.

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Since that tasty treat at Little Bad Wolf, there are others to share the spotlight and applaud! Here are my recent and ever-growing list of burgers to try when you are in the Chicago city limits.

Easter came early last year, April 1, and you bet I took full advantage to get a burger right after that day. I set my sights on Southport Corridor Brewery's burger. Listed at a reasonable $14, your plate presents itself with a double-steak patty, mustard herb mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, Detroit pickles, and a sesame bun! Pair that sandwich with a tasty beer on their rotating menu, and its lights out. Beer, burgers, and oh, did I mention their vinyl selection? Make it a top stop the next time you are in the area.

A few months later, enjoying a week away with the boys, we stopped at a local establishment in Richmond, IL called the Richmond Brathaus. They have a Hawaiian-take on what they title, the Maui Wowee, and boy was I floored from that creation. Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, cherry wood smoked bacon, grilled pineapple and cherry chipotle BBQ combine for what is an excellent sandwich – but to top it off, I got the "Haus fries," which contain chili and cheese – savory heaven. If you are just over the border in Wisconsin, map search "Richmond BratHaus," I guarantee you are going to like what you eat.

My last burger of 2018 was at a newer establishment in the West Loop from the West Coast (California), known as Ballast Point Brewery. The Ballast Point beers speak for themselves, from their "sculpin" line to specialty barrel aged, and rose-influenced beers. They are always top quality. On a cold winter night, there was nothing I wanted more than a delicious burger from this establishment. After a thorough look at the menu, my eyes kept wandering back to the West Coast Griddle Burger, which had American cheese, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and "wonder" sauce on a brioche bun. They also offer you the option of three in-house sauces as dipping options for your fries. Do it. Even if it is not for the burger, go to the place, especially in the summer for their rooftop!

After four months, my journey for the best burgers in Chicago continues. I continually check Google for listings and names, making sure I am still on the best path. If you have any suggestions, feel free to shoot me a comment or message – recommendations are always welcomed by this guy. Until next time, keep eating, good eats!

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