There is something about a latte to me that screams elitism to me. I’m not entirely sure if its because I picture women outfitted in Lululemon wear with perfectly painted faces of makeup clutching their latte, but it just does. And truthfully, I used to be one of them. I enjoyed the creamy comforts of a warm tall skinny latte finished with a dusting of cinnamon as I raced to start my busy day. During the holidays, I craved for pumpkin spiced and peppermint mocha lattes that were only available during those specific times of year. But then as I walked in my Lulu’s I felt a jiggle during my strut that I swear created wind and signaled monarchs in Argentina. Yes, my waistline expanded and the junk in my South American trunk was getting some extras that had no business on my backside. And it was then that I had an epiphany:
Lattes was where third ass checks, back wings and muffin tops were conceived.
Now many of you might be falling to your knees at the thought of being released from the warm comforting clutches of your latte, but I’m here to encourage you to do so. They not only pack on the pounds, but they’re filled with allergens and chemicals that you’ll be shocked to know about. So, here’s the skinny:
Lattes & weight gain
Consider this: lattes are primarily all milk and milk contains lactose – a milk sugar. In an 8oz cup one latte contains 5g of sugar, but when you factor that practically no one is orders a short latte (the smallest cup which is 8oz), the sugar count is much higher for the sizes they do order. A grande cup (the most widely ordered size) is 16oz, which means double the sugar. And if you’re ordering a venti (the grand poopa of cups at Starbucks) then you’re looking at a 24oz cup and 15g of sugar. Now you may be saying, “I don’t do dairy Melissa, I do soy”. Well then you’re even worse off: a short soy latte (9g sugar), a tall latte (14g sugar), a grande (18g sugar) and a venti (27g sugar). And ladies, this is excluding any whip, caramel, etc.!
But I’m sure some of you may say that you’re still fine because you order soy lattes that are sugar-free. Thing is, according to Chinese Medicine, soy and dairy produces mucous in the body which slows down digestion. Slow down your digestion and you begin to gain weight, period. But what if you order a skinny latte? Isn't that better? Well removing the fat allows those sugars to be more readily absorbed giving you a quick jolt and a faster crash - creating you guessed it, more hunger. Certainly we're not consuming lattes to feel full, but if the fat is removed, then your blood sugar will go awol - bad news for those of you who are trying to regulate blood sugar, avoid binges and weight gain.
Lattes: The allergen & inflammation overload
If you haven’t noticed that dairy makes you bloat, pay special attention, because chances are it does. Soy, the next big monster is a major culprit and unfortunately large chains like Starbucks have not gotten on the almond milk bandwagon. Allergenic foods are responsible for a host of issues including major inflammation and weight gain, acne, constipation, the runs and mood disorders. So still want that latte?
Holiday Lattes: The chemical soup in a cup
I know that people get really giddy when these special lattes make their comeback every year. In fact, Pumpkin-Spiced Lattes is rocketing towards its biggest year ever as a processed food flavour. But funny enough, there is actually little or no pumpkin! Manufacturers will use pumpkin pie spiced flavours and your good ol’ latte can contain up to 80 different additives to make pumpkin flavour. But what about Peppermint Mochas? Well there really isn’t any real peppermint, in fact it’s all artificial or (bullshit) natural flavourings used. Plus these syrups injected contain high amounts of sugar. Opt for sugar-free? Then welcome to a new chemical shit storm of artificial sweeteners that are known to actually create more hunger. So what’s a gal in her Lulu’s to do? Opt to make your own – it’s actually super simple, so here’s my favourite:
Peppermint Mocha Matcha Latte
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ tsp matcha powder
1 tbsp cacao powder
6 drops liquid stevia
1-2 drops of a high-quality, organic peppermint essential oil (be careful, it's strong!)
In a small pot on medium-high heat add almond milk and whisk in matcha powder and cacao powder. Add in stevia and peppermint essential oil and continue to whisk and pour into your travel mug for when you’re on the go. And certainly you can add in a shot of espresso versus the matcha green tea, but I find the matcha green tea has a more sustaining feeling versus the coffee jolt and crash. Plus matcha is rich in L-Theanine making it excellent to calm a racing mind. Win win folks!
So simple, right?
So ditch the lattes because truthfully, they add a ton of stress onto the system and who needs more stress and all that added sugar, right?
In the meantime, take your health into your own hands and give yourself the warm and healthy comfort it deserves during this chilly season. By creating healthy versions of your favourite latte you’ll walk into the winter season and strut right on out. Wind excluded.
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