In the last week I have had a lot of people asking me what it was like to eat and drink only Starbucks for a year. And while there are MANY things I learned by living the Starbucks brand for 365 days, I will give a small sample of some of the key lessons I learned in 2013 from my challenge, especially in relation to maintaining a healthy body, mind and lifestyle during!
1) Become a Starbucks Gold Card Member!
There is no quicker way to save money, and earn points and receive special promotions than to become a Starbucks Gold Card Member plain and simple. And if you value saving money, maintaining a healthy financial bottom-line is part of this equation. So, if you even think you will buy at least 1 latte or food item a week, it’s well worth your investment. I have not tallied up how many freebies, discounts, etc. that I received during 2013′s challenge year but it was more than likely in the hundreds of dollars at least! So even if you don’t eat and drink Starbucks for an entire year… everybody can appreciate saving some money at a retailer they like to frequent!
Healthy finances = healthy attitude
2) Know the Starbucks menu
If you are aware of all the Starbucks menu items (including the ones in the cold case or new items), then when you choose to go through drive-thru or get to the counter in a rushed way, you will know the healthy choices to choose from first instead of impulse-shopping and grabbing advertised items which is usually a pastry or specialty coffee. For instance… if you know the store has a clover machine (Starbucks specialty brewed coffee machine) and that you can get a pure coffee pressed (that BTW have a LOT of flavor!) and you will choose the cheaper and healthier choice of a Clover coffee over a syrup-flavored drink. Or if you know your local store carries protein bistro boxes (my staple go-to item all year) but they are usually gone by noon, ask for one first but always have a back-up option in mind that will keep you from swaying towards the pastries advertised in front of you.
Healthy options = healthy choices
3) Keep options open
If you have a La Boulange, an Evolution Fresh or a Starbucks Evenings store around you (or new products in your store)… you have just opened up your eating options through the Starbucks brand even more! All three of these places (and their menu items) offer different eating and drinking options that will increase your ability to intake different fibers, nutrients, etc. and they will expose your taste buds to an even greater variety of options! Also, if you visit a traditional Starbucks store mostly… refer to #2 and know your menu so you can choose from other options and cut down on the impulse purchases which could impart higher calorie count or more sugar-flavored options.
Healthy diversity = healthy options
4) Work Out
There is no two ways about this… you can’t drink Frappuccinos all day and not gain weight if you don’t work out (unless your metabolism is really high, but even then this isn’t advised by anyone). I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy all the sweets and Frappuccinos I wanted in a year, I did! BUT, I also worked out, ran and was even outside with my boys a LOT. So when I had not worked out as much guess what? I didn’t get to eat the sweets very often because of it.
Healthy activity = Healthy lifestyle
5) Count Calories
In the first months of 2013 I found out about a lady, Christine Hall, that had lived a “Starbucks Diet” to lose weight. After speaking to her about how she lost weight I tried it myself and did lose weight! From everything I’ve gathered, Starbucks pretty much keeps most of their food items to a set caloric level around 500-600 at the most (many items below those numbers) and if you know your daily caloric intake count (which will sometimes change by the way if you need to gain weight, lose weight or have a particular health need) so ask your doctor and do research to find where you base number is. From there it’s easy to keep track of your caloric intake because all the numbers are listed on food items as well as online info for each thing you buy from Starbucks! BUT, counting calories is not all there is, which is why I saved this point for last. I am not a health professional, but I did live an entire year on Starbucks and IN MY OPINION if you want to eat and drink there, and even if you attempt to do so more than most people…you should always pay attention to the top 4 topics I’ve mentioned above because I did this challenge with them all in mind all the time. It really was the key to my success to keep all these things (and more) in balance in my life so that I did not have issues with anything for a year. If you deviate from my advice, and don’t balance I could not estimate the same healthy ending that I earned.
Healthy awareness = healthy mind, body and lifestyle!
As far as everything else I learned this last year, it really was so much more than an interview or entire year of blog posts could ever convey! I learned a great deal about the Starbucks community (which is an AMAZING experience!), I learned how to eat, drink and live a healthy lifestyle on Starbucks, I learned how to optimize saving money at Starbucks, I learned about the different regions and countries and the nuances of their communities under the Starbucks umbrella, I learned about all the different product lines (Evolution Fresh, SBC, concept stores, Tazo, Teavana, etc.), I learned Starbucks history, I learned much more that should be put into a book!
I will say again, I am not a medical professional… but I am living proof that a person can live a healthy lifestyle by existing off of Starbucks foods and drinks exclusively for a year!by