Tag Archives: Starbucks

Throwdown: Pumpkin Spice Latte vs Toasted Graham Latte

Pumpkin Spice vs Toasted Graham Latte

The fall classics are back, but something new is brewing at your local Starbucks. If you haven’t picked up it’s scent yet, you will soon notice that for the first time in years a new drink is on the fall menu. The Toasted Graham Latte. Sounds delicious but how does it stack up against the king of cool weather drinks? Starbucks claims a less sweet drink (only slightly though, with 40 grams of sugar for their 16oz version – see our “how much sugar” slideshow for reference).

According to starbucks.com “Graham and sweet cream meet steamed milk and our signature espresso, then are finished off with a sprinkling of cinnamon graham crumbles for a less sweet perfect treat”

It’s clear that fans of the Pumpkin Spice Latte won’t find a drastically healthier fall drink option in the Toasted Graham Latte. But starting with less sugar and no whip cream you eliminate some of the unnecessary sugar from the Pumpkin Spice. If you want to further reduce sugars, try swapping in skim milk.

Pumpkin Spice vs Toasted Graham (16 fl oz)

Calories 380 Calories 300
50 grams Sugar 40 grams Sugar
Total Fat 14g Total Fat 9g
Sodium 240mg Sodium 210mg
**2% Milk used 


*** Our advice is to skip the sugar rush and go with something else. If you are looking for a lightweight but still tasty breakfast option, try the Medifast Mocha Shake. Easily made ***


PS – If you opt for the Venti – you are in for 380 Calories and 51G of sugar. Here for full details.

Your Favorite Pumpkin Treats are Full of Hidden Sugar, Fake Flavor


It’s already started: the time of pumpkin-flavored everything. Though many are cynical about the abundance of pumpkin, there’s no denying its power as a product. It’s estimated that we spend around $300 million a year, mostly between September and November, on products that at least kind of smell and taste like fall.

Essentially, people are going bananas for pumpkin. In fact, it’s one of the only vegetables that can claim a fandom. The thing is, most of the pumpkin products you can find this time of year don’t contain any pumpkin at all, just fake, processed pumpkin flavoring.

Take for example the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. The beverage doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, just artificial flavoring. The same can be said for the new Pumpkin Spice Oreos and many other products that will appear on shelves in the next few weeks. (more…)

Technology is Changing How We Order and Pay for Food

For many of us, our smartphone serves less of a purpose as an actual phone and instead, is becoming increasingly more about the services it connects us to and the other gadgets or processes it replaces. We don’t use watches to check the time, we don’t use alarm clocks to wake up in the morning, we don’t use phone books, we don’t write letters on paper, or pull out an atlas for road trips. We don’t carry an MP3 player, digital camera, or day planner anymore, either. All of these things (and more) are part of the device we already carry everywhere we go.

Apple founder Steve Jobs often talked about the place technology has in our lives. He said on multiple occasions that the best implementation of technology is the kind that empowers you to do things, but without requiring a new learned process or behavior.

One thing we can add to that list that wasn’t possible just a few years ago: ordering and paying for food. We’ve talked about Amazon Fresh, the grocery delivery service you can access from your computer, tablet or smartphone, but that’s just the beginning.

Large restaurants and grocery stores are launching new mobile apps that enable you to order and pay with your smartphone.


Already, you can build your perfect Chipotle burrito and pay for it before ever stepping foot in the door. In fact, they’ll have it waiting for you at the register. Talk about grab and go.

Pizza Hut also has a mobile app you can use to craft the perfect pie. Delivery or carry out? Cash or credit? And most importantly, how long until it’s ready? Their mobile apps have you covered. (more…)

The 11 Most Criminal Examples of Food Gone Too Far

Have you ever seen a picture or video of food that made you sick just from looking at it? That’s what happened when we saw a video from the Travel Channel’s popular show Man v. Food. The dish was so piled with meats, cheeses, sauces, and who knows what else, it could no longer be identified as food.

We know that food challenges aren’t the only culprit when it comes to shameful servings, so we decided to come up with a rap sheet for the worst food felons. Here’s our Most Wanted list of top culinary criminals starting with the simply overindulgent and ending with the disgustingly gluttonous.

green tea latte

Wanted for: Imitating a Healthy Beverage – Green Tea Latte
Starting off our list is the deceptive Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. Getting a venti (20 oz.) of this beverage with whole milk will cost you 500 calories and 71 grams of sugar. So much for the idea of green tea always being a healthy choice.

disney ice cream sandwiches

Wanted for: Ridiculous Use of Sugar – Ice Cream Sandwiches
Disney, it’s a happy, magical place. It’s also a place where you can get ice cream sandwiches as big as your face. The two homemade chocolate chip cookies and three heaping scoops of ice cream are delicious, but I speak from experience when I say you’ll have sugar shakes and nausea for hours after eating.


5 Go-To Fitter Fast Food Menu Items

Eating out as a vegetarian who says no to dairy (most of the time) is a challenge. That’s why I don’t do it often. But fast food can be a necessary evil on a busy day of errands, if I forget my lunch, or if I’m traveling. While chain restaurants are being required to post calories, calories don’t provide the whole story. Lower calorie options can be loaded with sugar and lack protein, leaving you unsatisfied and headed toward a blood sugar crash.

Eating healthy on the go means being prepared and doing your research. It helps to have a go-to list of preselected options so you can grab and go. Try these fast food finds to make eating on the go a little healthier.

veggie skillet

Denny’s Fit Fare menu: At IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West, I had the privilege of having breakfast with Kymberly and Alexandra from FunandFit.org. When Denny’s, which was across the street from our hotel, was suggested I was skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised however by their Fit Fare menu. Since they serve breakfast all day, try the Veggie Skillet. With egg whites, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and potatoes it has 20 grams of protein and only 330 calories. While it may not be as fast they do offer take out service. (more…)

We Pimped a Homemade Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Tis’ the season to consume many, many, many pumpkin spice lattes. A now ubiquitous beverage of fall, this Starbucks flavored java is loved the world over.

Last month there was a reported pumpkin spice syrup shortage at hundreds of Starbucks around the country; lovers of this beverage were outraged! It was the Pumpkin Spice LattePOCALYPYSE! Happily for the PSL fans (that’s what they affectionately call this fall beverage) the syrup was replenished and drinking resumed.

But wait! I am so sorry to burst your pumpkin bubble, but do you know really know what you are drinking? Espresso, steamed milk, and pumpkin spice syrup, yes, but what is in that pumpkin spice syrup? I for one, wanted to know. Starbucks isn’t terribly forthcoming about ingredients. Their website is extremely helpful with fat and calorie counts, but when it comes to actual ingredients one must dig deeper to come up with the truth.

I emailed them (which quite honestly, is very simple to do on their website) and asked for the ingredient breakdown. I received this:

Sugar, Condensed Nonfat Milk, Sweetened Condensed Nonfat Milk, Annatto (E160b, Colour), Natural and Artificial Flavours, Caramel Colour (E150D), Salt, Potassium Sorbate (E202, a preservative).

This list did not make a holistic nutritionist very happy. The first ingredient is sugar, then more sugar in the form of sweetened condensed milk, and numerous coloring agents and preservatives. Then the big whammy, under the guise of “natural and artificial flavors” are hidden health disastrous ingredients that legally do not have to be listed. Ingredients like Vanillin instead of Vanilla (synthetic vanillin primarily comes from wood pulp, a bi-product of the sulphite process. Yum!) are considered “natural ingredients.”

Well fear not pumpkin addicts, this is a truly simple and luscious drink to make at home. You will save calories, fat, and yucky franken-food ingredients, AND save yourself a pretty penny!

Consider the Pumpkin Spice Latte Pimped! (more…)

4 Breakfasts Worth Waking Up For, Including a Vegetable Frittatta Recipe

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D. for TheBestLife.com

I love breakfast foods, so I’ve always wondered why anyone would deliberately skip this meal. Cereal, oatmeal, waffles, eggs, latte—what’s not to like? And if you opt for healthy versions of these foods, breakfast could be your most nutritious meal of the day. Here’s how to make the most of your morning meal.


Check the ingredient list to make sure that all the grains in the cereal are whole. Then check the label to make sure that you’re getting no more than 5 grams of sugar and at least 4 grams of fiber per 100 calories. If your cereal is very low sugar, such as Food for Life’s Ezekiel cereals or Uncle Sam’s, it’s fine to sprinkle on a few tablespoons of granola (which might exceed the “5 g sugar per 100 calories” rule in larger amounts). Here’s what to put in your bowl: (more…)

Starbucks To Yank Bug-Based Dyes After Thousands Protest

I’ll have a double venti Strawberry Frappuccino, light on the whipped cream and no bug juice, please.

Yes, you can have that now, but only since Starbucks was prompted by thousands of namely vegetarian protesters who were appalled after discovering the coffee giant was using bug-based dyes in some of their drink and food products.

The bug in question is a tiny white insect called a Dactylopius coccus, which when crushed, produces a brilliant red dye known as cochineal. And although this suspicious substance has only become public knowledge recently, it’s apparently been used for coloring foods and makeup for centuries.

Starbucks wasn’t breaking any laws, just vegetarian hearts, who were unknowingly consuming the bug. But cochineal is approved by the FDA and is all natural. Still, some were especially concerned since the dye has been shown to cause allergies and asthma with severe reactions in some instances.

The news leaked when a Starbucks barista reportedly sent a picture of the ingredient label for their Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino to the website ThisDishIsVegetarian.com, which then reported the chain’s use of the bug. (more…)

Tricky Marketers are Preying on Our Health Habits

Author Charles Duhigg has done some fascinating research regarding human habits in his new book, The Power of Habit. He has been attempting to open the public’s eyes regarding how many of our daily actions are simply habits, not actual choices. Due to this fact, he also points out how companies are cashing in on our routines.

A 2006 study determined that more than 40 percent of our actions are habits, not real decisions. That’s a large portion of our lives being governed for us. Duhigg wants people to view their situation and see how they can nurture good habits and lose the bad ones.

Duhigg created a three step process to explain the development of habits. The process is cue, routine, and reward. The process is explained by using Claude Hopkins, the famous ad man for Pepsodent toothpaste as an example. Hopkins helped create a craving that made toothbrushing a habit. The cue was unsettling tooth film, the routine was brushing, and the reward was clean attractive teeth.

Another case study example of how habits are recognized and then effectively changed into good habits is that of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Duhigg points out how the routine of drinking was replaced with meetings and companionship. AA has become one of the world’s most successful habit changing organizations.


3 Reasons Babyccinos are the Antithesis of a Healthy Toddler Diet

I heard about it on NPR this weekend while on a mini road trip, but you may have already heard about it from a number of news sources or even Facebook. Babyccinos are a trend, it would seem, or at least a trending search term. As I did some digging, it seems that such things have existed in Australia and London for a while. In the U.S. it may be most popular in Brooklyn, I cannot say it is completely unheard of here in the midwest either. Babyccinos are coffee-like beverages intended for very young children. There are different versions that have been discussed some with steamed milk, some with honey, and some with a shot of decaf espresso. While babyccinos may be a trend that is over reported, the danger cannot be overstated.

1. Espresso – Even decaffeinated espresso or decaffeinated coffee is not free of caffeine; the amount of caffeine has just been reduced. The effects of caffeine on children will be exaggerated due to their small size, and as anyone who has ever had to skip their morning coffee knows, caffeine is a drug without which withdrawal symptoms will be experienced. At what age do you really want to introduce that to your children? It is also important to note that to remove caffeine from coffee beans a chemical solvent must be used. (more…)