Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Coffee Creamer, Change #1

Second post today, but I wanted to also share about my first dietary change: eliminating coffee creamer.

Maybe this sounds minor, or silly. But it is important to me to make small, sustainable changes in my eating habits that will result in better health. I figure I can start with something small but significant.

I currently drink 2 cups of coffee every morning (and sometimes I have 1-2 more later in the day). Before I began my weight loss journey, I used to drink it with LOTS of sugar... we are talking 3 Tablespoons per mug of coffee! I also used to add a lot of half and half as well... about 3 Tbsp of that per cup. Well, if I drank 4 mugs in a day... which I often did... that is 12 Tbsp of sugar AND 12 Tbsp of half and half every day! Do you realize that is 3/4 CUP of sugar? And 3/4 CUP of half and half? That is more than 800 calories per day of COFFEE! Looking back now, it seems unbelievable that I was doing that and so unaware. But I liked my coffee to taste like a dessert, and since I was used to eating a lot of candy and donuts and such, my taste buds were used to a LOT of sugar. Even fresh ripe strawberries used to taste sour to me!

Anyway, as I was saying, I still drink coffee. However, I have been using 1 Tbsp of Lucerne Sugar Free French Vanilla creamer in each mug, which only has 15 calories, so my total for 4 mugs of coffee is only 60 calories. Much better. However, take a peek at the ingredients list for this creamer:

Water, Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Cottonseed Oil, Less than 2% of Sodium Caseinate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Artificial Color (Titanium Dioxide)Datem, Carrageenan, Beta-Carotene (for Color), Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Polysorbate 60.

Alrighty then! So although it is low in calories, it has some things I want to avoid:
corn syrup
hydrogenated fats
artificial flavor and color
sucralose (Splenda)
Acesulfame K (another artificial sweetener)

My goal is to start switching to green tea (which has female reproductive cancer protective properties), which I am used to drinking plain, with no added sweeteners. I still feel like I "need" some coffee in the morning, so for now I will be switching to half and half and Stevia. 1 Tbsp half and half only has 20 calories so it won't affect my intake much.

This change fits in nicely with my goal of eventually eating more natural foods and fewer fake ones. It's a small change in diet, but a big step in the mindset I need to move forward.


Princess Dieter said...

I used creamers years ago. Convenient, shelf stable, easy. But the ingredients bothered me more andm ore so I ditched them, invested in great coffee and a great coffeemaker and grinder. My coffee rocks. I got a delivery today--am sipping a cup right now. It was roaster Monday. I got it Wed, today...fresh. Beautiful clean taste. It would be sacrilege to add cream and muddy it up. :)

Anyway, creamers are crap. I'd rather use real organic cream if I'm gonna muddy up my coffee and add true cinnamon and at least make it indulgent but not weird/fakey.

Abbie said...

I use almond milk (unsweetened) as my creamer for my coffee. It's great and only 35 calories per CUP! Just a helpful tip. Good for you!!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, You can switch your diet drinks to zevia cola..taste great. it is made with stevia. susan b.
Just to let you know we are all waiting on edge with you..

spunkysuzi said...

Small steps are definitely the way to go!
I'm going to try drinking more green tea :)

Misty said...

I struggle so much with this! I love my coffee and usually have at least 1 big giant cup in the morning. As a diabetic this gets interesting since its not like you down coffee in just a few minuets least not the size cup I do. An then to make it worse even though I use a type of stevia that dosent have any carbs and have switched to a creamer that has a small amount really adds up quick! So far I have found my best bet without giving up my flavored creamer is liquid International does not have HFCS in it and is only 35caloreis a serving ...I also use Sweet leaf made from stevia ...Sweet leaf is supper expensive but I find that little $13 jar last me all month most of the time so really its not to bad

Chelsea said...

I started backing off the amount of half & half I was using in my americanos, and transitioned to whole milk.

Now, I use just a tbsp of whole milk - plus my body doesn't have the horrible reactions like I used to with the fake creamers. :)

timothy said...

yep it's the little things that add up! good for you, i gave up caffeine over a mon th ago and you know what i survived. it was hell the 1st week but once i was off it my sleep regulated and i feel much better!

Susan said...

Kudos to you for wanting to rid your eating (or drinking in this case) of all of those scary additives.

I myself made the switch awhile ago, I either drink it black with some stevia (which is natural, depending on the brand, I buy Sweetleaf), or I'll add Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. It only has 40 calories for a whole cup, and a nice vanilla undertone that gives my coffee a nice subtle flavor.

I too need to get back to my green tea habit, I used to drink it plain as well, and it's time to do that again.

Keep up the great work!

Karin said...

Because I'm a "paleo" (I really hate that word lately) eater and using Atkins Induction to lose the excess weight, I use full fat yumminy yum cream. Just a blurp, along with my stevia and man oh heaven. I don't drink a lot, maybe a cup or two a day generally at most but it's one of those things i'm not giving up. Period. Glad you're ditching the fakedy fake stuff...good move!

hopefulandfree said...

A fun project you might want to try with your children: grow your own stevia plant in a large pot in a sunny location. (You can specify at your local nursery that you want the variety to grow for extracting sweetener for home use.) Then you can harvest and steep the leaves in late summer or early fall (before flowering, or pick off flowers to prevent bolting), and make a concentrated liquid for use with a dropper. Completely organic. Delicious. You can even make home-made protein or breakfast bars by using stevia with cocoa powder or concentrated lime juice (depending on what flavors you prefer) and whey protein powder and nut butter or coconut oil. Yummy, saves money, and fun to make. (No bake.)

Hope you are feeling better!

mel said...

Wow- that's one my biggest things and i've said the LAST thing i'll give up.... I NEED my coffee with sugar and h/h in the morning!
Let us know how it goes!!!

Anonymous said...

How inspirational blog. I am doing the same thing using a book call 184 Secrets of the Thin.

Alice said...

I've always taken my coffee with milk (2%) and sugar or sweetener depending what's to hand. I was at a café the other day and used cream, which felt luxurious, but I couldn't actually taste a difference. Is there a reason you use creamer, and not milk?

lusks said...

Try your coffee black made with not quite boiled water, add some cold if you like and then.......put in a pinch of salt. Only a pinch mind you, after two or three days you won't go back to milk and sweetners. If you can't do without milk use the fully skimmed, no fat.

Anonymous said...

After consuming aspartame and splenda for many many years in all sorts of foods and drinks, I started to become very sick. Not only did I get sick I almost lost my life from them. And not once did any of these things help me in my weight loss goals. So many people tried to tell me that aspartame was bad for me and that it would catch up with me but I didn't believe it. In my mind I believed it couldn't happen to me, until it built up in my system and created a lot of issues. I now drink water. Plain water. I know it is boring. Unfortunately I'm allergic to Stevia and it causes episodes of breathless feelings and itching all over my skin. It is very interesting that when I was forced to give up all of the artificial sweeteners I lost a surprising amount of weight. Sometimes when I need a sweet treat I drop some strawberries and lime into a cup of cold seltzer. It's not too sweet and it's refreshing. Good luck. Eating clean is truly the way to go.

allthingsjennifer said...

Oh this is such a good first step. I'm addicted to those sweet little flavoured creamers and I need to eliminate those STAT!

Well, I only use them at work...which is where I drink most of my coffee. At home on the weekends I use flavored soy milk instead.

Lyn said...


I have not ever tried milk in my coffee, not sure why! Well, actually, on Medifast milk is not allowed due to the carbs but I never used milk in coffee before Medifast either.

I really with I was someone who liked plain, black coffee. I will try some of you guys' suggestions. I used to hate green tea unless it was sugared and now I love it plain, so tastes can change!

andria said...

You could also drink black tea with milk--far, far better for you. I get nauseous when I drink green tea on an empty stomach, so I stick with black. Plus, it has more caffeine :)

The Clarks said...

I just cut out my creamer because of all the additives. I started using Unsweetened Organic Vanilla Almond Milk and really like it. I think it's small things like this that will add up to a big change.

Izzy said...

A great naturally sweet replacement hot drink unlike is licorice tea. No sugar required.

After quitting smoking I stopped using sugar in my tea and coffee, I agree with an earlier comment, fresh roasted and good quality brewed coffee makes a huge difference. Instant coffees tend to all use the vert strong and bitter robusta beans which when I drink I still want to sweeten to make the taste milder. I've always used milk, not cream or creamer (Australian so not much call for creamer here) however if it's good coffee I will drink it black :)

Donna Peterson said...

I know these comments are from 2011 but had to comment. I do stopped using creamer. I used to drink two cups of coffee in the morning then a cup of decaf at work, then two cups of decaf after work after dinner. With each of these cups I would use flavored creamer. Now, when you look at the bottle it says 35 calories per serving. I know damn well I was NOT using a tablespoon, so I estimated I was using at least double that each time, making it 70 calories per cup. So at 5 cups a day that means I was drinking 350 calories!! I stopped cold turkey and drank it black. One big cup of regular in the morning, then two cups after dinner (decaf. After two weeks, I realized my pants were getting looser and my god I LOST like 5 pounds. I'm not kidding!! Eventually losing a total of 8-9 pounds and kept it off. I've been wearing stuff in my closet that I was about to throw out because it was the next size down - so happy and easy. Try it - you can do it!! Or switch to flavored tea. I can drink that with no sugar. It really is soothing.