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KRAFTYKRAFT's Photo KRAFTYKRAFT Posts: 5,204
5/29/19 7:35 A

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I like infusing water and iced tea with frozen fruit; I make tea and coffee lattes with oat milk or soymilk; Starbucks does have some lower calorie drinks that I have for an occasional treat

MARYJOANNA's Photo MARYJOANNA Posts: 14,226
5/29/19 5:12 A

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Diet soda or Crystal-lite drink



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ANARIE's Photo ANARIE Posts: 13,246
5/27/19 1:09 A



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If you can eliminate the sugar, then a low- or non-fat latte or chai is actually a pretty decent nutritional bang for your calorie buck. Think of it as a mini meal or a snack, and go with real milk to maximize the protein and B vitamins. A 12-oz skim milk latte would have around 100 calories, 10g protein, and 1/3 of your calcium for the day. As long as you're not drinking more than one a day or loading itwith sugar, it's a perfectly reasonable use of 100 calories.

If one a day isn't enough, think about whether you could drink plain coffee and tea. There are several brands of chai tea bags that give you all the spice flavors with zero calories. If they don't taste good to you without sugar, try them as iced tea; sometimes they taste slightly sweet on their ownwhen they're cold.



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JWOOLMAN SparkPoints: (2,480)
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5/25/19 11:27 A

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Also if there is any tea that you like- you can brew a bag or two or the equivalent and then when it is cool, keep a jar or bottle of it in the fridge for 2-3 days and just splash it into your water. Experiment to see how much you need.

Bubbly flavored waters can be used the same way - the flavor is pretty intense and I'm not always wanting carbonation, but an ounce or two in a big glass of water has plenty of flavor. I just put the rest of the can in an empty Snapple glass bottle (I use my collection for the filtered water I make, so I can just grab one to fill a glass or for cooking).

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5/25/19 5:39 A

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I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners so Crystal Light has always tasted bad to me, but Crystal Light Pure is now available and has a mix of cane sugar and stevia. I also hate stevia, but if there is enough real sugar (cane sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice) then that seems to cancel out the taste of stevia in drinks. Just 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of the Crystal Light Pure is more than enough to flavor a big glass of water. I very roughly estimate about 1 gram per 1/4 tsp for tracking, which is about 2 calories (1 calorie for 1/8 tsp).

So I just wrap up the packet after opening and add a small amount of it to water occasionally. Sometimes I need some flavor for taking supplements or meds, otherwise I really do like the taste of well-filtered water (at home I run my yucky tap water through charcoal and reverse osmosis; the bottled Aquafina does the same so I can drink that or any bottled water with the same filtering if needed).

MARYJOANNA's Photo MARYJOANNA Posts: 14,226
4/26/19 8:38 A

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If you are looking for something to add to water, add Crystal Light!



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ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,184
4/15/19 9:32 A

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I've found that almond milk is a great substitute offered at many coffee shops, and reducing the amount of sweetener helps significantly.

For example, at SB:

grande chai latte with no alterations (2% milk, 4 pumps of syrup):
240 calories (4.5g fat, 45g carb, 8g protein)

grande chai latte made with only 2 pumps of the flavor syrup and almond milk:
roughly 150 calories (3.5g fat, 28g carb, 2g protein)

In general, SB syrups have about 20 calories per pump, and single-flavor hot drinks have 3 pumps in a tall, 4 pumps in a grande, and 5 pumps in a venti.

For cold drinks, there's one extra pump of syrup for each size (so 6 pumps of syrup in an unaltered iced venti!). If dropping that down to half doesn't taste sweet enough, try asking for just one pump less. Each pump of regular syrup is about 20 calories.

The chocolate syrups (mocha, white mocha, etc.) have about 26 calories per pump (0.6g fat, 6.4g carb, 0.6g protein), and are 2/3/4 for hot drinks (2 in a tall, etc.).


Also, there's a store called Tea Source (brick-and-mortar in the Twin Cities, but also available online) that sells an amazing chai spice blend. It's intended to be mixed with sweetened condensed milk, and then that mixture stirred into brewed tea, but you can also just put some of the spices into a tea bag and steep them directly in the tea, then add a splash of half-and-half or milk.

Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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BAMBIG54's Photo BAMBIG54 Posts: 1,322
4/12/19 7:56 A

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Thank you for the help everyone. I appreciate it.

CONTRARYWIFE's Photo CONTRARYWIFE SparkPoints: (6,019)
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4/11/19 5:51 P

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I love my coffee drinks, too! In my experience it is mostly the sugar that adds calories to such drinks. If you're used to coffee lattes or frappes try switching to a plain iced coffee with a 2%, coconut, or almond milk. Only add as much sweetener as you can stand and work down from there. Ask the server what options they have for making the drink lighter. And of course, get the smallest size.

Chai drinks are easy to make at home with your own tea and spices. You control the sugar and can use fat free dairy or the coconut or almond milk.



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BAMBIG54's Photo BAMBIG54 Posts: 1,322
4/11/19 9:15 A

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Thanks, I will check the article out.

SPARK_COACH_JEN's Photo SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 67,114
4/11/19 9:13 A

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Here's an article you might find helpful:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=200


Coach Jen

"You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." Mary Pickford

"No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch."
BAMBIG54's Photo BAMBIG54 Posts: 1,322
4/11/19 9:08 A

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Thank you. That Chai recipe sounds great. I will try it.

LOTUS737's Photo LOTUS737 Posts: 6,242
4/11/19 9:03 A

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you can save calories by making them at home, but depending on where you like to buy them you can modify your order- most places offer 2% or skim milk (or milk alternatives if you prefer those) and you can ask for less sugar/syrup to flavor your drink. and of course going for a smaller size than normal will help as well.

you can make chai at home pretty easily too if you have the spices on hand- i like to grind up a few cardamom pods, 1-2 cloves, a small piece of a cinnamon stick, and some aniseed. Boil in water with a chunk of ginger for 5-10 minutes, then add black tea and steep. Add in milk of choice, bring to a boil, then simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Sweeten to taste if desired! sometimes i'll just use the spices and plain black or green tea instead of adding milk (but that's not really chai, just flavored tea).

also, if there's an indian grocery store near you, you may be able to find pre-flavored tea packets (typically more affordable than at mainstream grocery stores) or even pre-mixed chai packets (i buy the unsweetened wagh bakri brand- delicious and pretty clean ingredients!).

Healthy choices and actions have positive impacts, even if the scale doesn't move!


BAMBIG54's Photo BAMBIG54 Posts: 1,322
4/11/19 8:42 A

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I got a lot of my calories from beverages. Lattes, chai teas, etc. I miss them. Does anyone know of any low cal, low fat, or fat free alternatives?

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