Date Night

So my last weekend in South Georgia before I had to start back to school, my hubby and I had to go out on an adventure. We had been at home all weekend, him studying for a certification exam (something Cisco, he is a networking guy) and I had been packing and cleaning all weekend. I’m at Life University four days a week so I stay with family when I’m in school and then in our home in middle GA, 3 days a week. When I first started Life U, Will worked from home and lived with me as well. He had to move back to our home town over the summer because of work which I don’t mind because now I get to go and see my family more often!

Back to our adventure, Will had a Bass Pro gift card lying around from his birthday. He didn’t have quite enough for the boots he wanted so I made a deal with him that if he took me out to dinner I would pay the little extra for the boots! Hands shaken! So to Bass Pro and to my favorite BONEFISH GRILL we go!

He is like me in the mall at Bass Pro!

And guess where I had a free drink to?

You didn’t even have to guess did you? Tall nonfat iced 1-Pump Pumpkin Spice Latte! Wish I would have gotten a hot drink because it was freezing at Bass Pro!

As far as Gluten Free options go, Bonefish is amazing! They have a selection of wood fired grilled seafood such as: shrimp, scallops, salmon, white sea bass, grouper, lobster, etc with a choice of four different sauces: mango salsa, chimichurri, lemon butter, and pan Asian (not gluten free). They also have a separate gluten free menu so be sure to ask for it if you need it. As far as desserts go: gluten free heaven! A flourless brownie with raspberry sauce, macadamias, and ice cream or cream brulee!

I ordered the appetizer of saucy shrimp: lime tomato garlic sauce, Kalmata olives , and Feta cheese as my meal along with an order of steamed veggies. Delicious! Will got their ever famous Bang Bang Shrimp: fried and tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce along with a Caesar salad. Appetizers are plenty enough food for us without having to order a full meal and helps save the $$$. We didn’t even finish what we had.

We skipped dessert tonight in favor of stopping for….ICE CREAM!

Living in the country now, we don’t get out much anymore because trips to nice stores and restaurants are 30 + miles. T’was a great date night!


How to save calories at Starbucks???

Oh yes even people in Nassau, Bahamas love their Starbucks! Ok maybe it is just there for the tourists…

So my friends and family know that I openly admit to being addicted to Starbucks!

 But wait Ashley, how do you drink so many lattes and not gain weight? I know, I know: How do I do this when they have white chocolate mochas totaling to 370 calories for a tall and tall sized frappucchino’s for 400 calories?

Here are just a few of my favorite tips:

  • Ask for non-fat milk, simple enough right?
  • Never order anything above a Grande unless you know you have the calories to spare. But really a Venti? Do you need that much milk (calorie wise) at once ? Hot Grandes and Ventis both only get 2 shots anyway….(thanks Jen)
  • Try to limit yourself to only 4 times per week-make coffee or espresso at home. Yes I have a hard time sticking to this rule. Some weeks I do, some I don’t!
  • Always skip the whip
  • When ordering a Pumpkin Spice latte or any other flavored latte
    • A tall gets 3 pumps of syrup, ask for 1
    • A grande gets 4 pumps of syrup, ask for 1 or 2
    • A venti gets 5 pumps of syrup, ask for 3 but this is really too much as we have already discussed!
      • How do I order this????
  • Grande non-fat 2 pump Caramel Latte or Tall non-fat 1 pump Toffee nut latte!
  • Different syrups have different amounts of calories
    • Most flavored syrups: 20 calories per pump
    • Mocha: 25 per pump
    • Pumpkin Spice: about 38 per pump
    • White Mocha: about 60 per pump! Avoid this syrup!
  • So if you ordered a Grande Non-fat Caramel Latte, the total calorie count is 200! That is 80 calories of added sugar (4 pumps). But when you only get 1 or 2 pumps of caramel syrup that is 140 to 160 calories. So yes you are only saving 40 to 60 calories. But if you do this consistently, it adds up!    
  • Compare a Regular Tall Pumpkin Spice Latte made with 2% and whip: 300 calories!
  • A Non-fat, 1 pump Pumpkin Spice Latte with no whip: about 130 calories
  • If you ordered this beverage everyday of the week:
    • Regular: 2100 calories total
    • “Light Version”: 910 calories total
    • That’s 1190 calories saved for a whole week! Hello that’s 2, even 3 meals for some people!

  • Some drinks come with whip some don’t. You do not have to say no whip to drinks that don’t come with it but to be sure they don’t add it you can go ahead and say it. But for reference here is a list of drinks that come with whip: mocha, white mocha, pumpkin spice, cinnamon dolce  
  • What about sugar free syrups? If you can stand the after taste, be my guest. I would rather have a little of the real thing.
  • Caramel Macchiatos! I know this drink is confusing. Macchiatos get one less pump of vanilla syrup on the inside because they have caramel sauce added up top. But I don’t think a Grande needs 3 pumps of vanilla syrup and caramel sauce. My favorite drink: Grande non-fat 1-pump vanilla caramel macchiato. Yes I’m complicated; they hate to see me coming. But my waistline loves me.
  • Frappucchino’s: well now you can customize these to be made with non-fat milk, ask for no whip, and cut down on the syrup pumps if you are getting anything other than a plain coffee frappucchino. The base they use to make these drinks still has lots of sugar so there really is no way around that. Your best bet is to stick with hot or iced lattes.
  • Another thing is to not consider a latte a side beverage. Consider it a snack or part of a meal to tally into your total intake for the day as it contains useful (energy) calories from the milk. The sugar if added will be discretionary (empty) calories.

If you are used to drinking the drinks like they come then yes a lot of this will be a major adjustment! But once you cut down on sugar for a long period of time you will get used to it. You will make a face just like you just tasted something sour when you taste something overly sweet. There is no need to drink your calories when there is all that food out there just waiting to be eaten! Ha ha, just kidding! But for the most part, if you are trying to lose weight or not gain weight, chewing is more satisfying. Be smart about your beverages. There is nothing wrong with a skim latte with a little bit of sugar in your diet. You will get protein, calcium, and carbohydrates from the milk plus energy with the caffeine.

Good luck on customizing your Starbucks order! I know you can do it!