Mid Week MUNCH – Refreshing Edition

Yesterday was the big rollout of the Starbucks calorie menus across the country which has been receiving a lot of media attention lately including even about my challenge from The News Chick (Thanks Linda it was a great piece!).

I’ve had a lot of people have asked me in these last 6 months if I’ve gained weight, how my challenge has effected my health, etc.  Well with the rollout of the new calorie menus and everybody’s focus on Starbucks from a health perspective I will tell you that 1/2 a year of only eating and drinking Starbucks has helped me get into better shape than I have been in recent years and these new menus will help you too!

Starbucks Calorie menus

I did have a baby three years ago, so that will usually put some weight on you and I did the typical work out routine only a couple of months after his birth but I didn’t really watch my calorie consumption all that much and my working out wasn’t consistent for these last two years.  It wasn’t until this January when I started my challenge and met Christine Hall and spoke with her about the “Starbucks Diet” that I started to lose the last bits of my pregnancy weight.  What changed?  Well, now I can clearly see in every way HOW MANY calories I take in because even before the new menu rollouts Starbucks had their nutritional information on their packaging and their phone app.

So yesterday when I seen the new menus for the first time (above) I chose the Tall size Starbucks Valencia Orange Refresher instead of the Venti size that I might have originally ordered, the difference?  Only 70 calories and still as delicious as ever!

Starbucks Valencia Orange Refresher

Seriously, I usually don’t splurge daily on things like the Glazed almonds and will usually stick to the Protein Bistro Box and Roasted Almonds (are those gone?) and maybe one coffee or refresher a day with lots of water in-between.  After 6 months you start to learn your calorie count secrets… but yesterday clearly seeing the calorie count AS I ORDERED it was easier to justify the calories in another product if I just chose the smaller version of the drink I wanted to begin with!

I announced a week ago on my social media feeds and in my interview with Linda that I would be counting my calories for the entire month of July.  I know I said I was allowing myself a “break” this summer and not doing a month-focus but with all that’s come out about healthy eating options (the recent controversial AMA decision to classify obesity as a “disease”) I’ve decided that I’m going to test myself and see if I can record an entire month of eating now that Starbucks is allowing me every opportunity to do so?!

Knowing that my days of calorie consumption are numbered… I did indulge a bit yesterday and ordered an item that clearly is at the TOP of my Starbucks LOVE LIST, the La Boulange Summer Berry Croissant!

LaBoulange Summer Berry Croissant

I tried this croissant at corporate in May and fell in love with it immediately!  I spoke to Pascal about how much this item reminded me of the fresh berry cobblers I grew up with on the farm, how it’s flaky buttery crust and the perfect natural sweetness of the berries, how they all blended into this beautiful little masterpiece of pastry!

Valencia and Cool Lime Refresher

Now I just HAD to have a second Valencia Orange Refresher yesterday because I now knew the calories were that low (thanks to Andrea’s suggestion at the Issaquah Gilman store, Cool Lime AND Valencia Orange = LOVE).  Really, I am seriously in LOVE with this new drink!

A Facebook follower asked me last night to choose my favorite Starbucks product and honestly I just CANNOT!  Like I told Linda in my interview, Starbucks has had so many absolutely delicious items launch this year that my choices are really diverse and satisfying… and I could not of chosen a BETTER YEAR to do this, seriously!  I am making my mental list of my favorites… but I think I’ll wait till years end to produce that information because who knows what’s new or next at Starbucks?!

Tomorrow starts Starbucks 3PM Wake Up Call which is a fancy way of saying 1/2 off Refreshers!  And with a new Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade (on my radar) and the absolutely lovely Valencia Orange Refresher (and knowing how few calories they have)… I would DEFINITELY take advantage of the 3PM Wake Up Call!

Refresher Happy Hour

Enjoy the rest of your week everybody!

IT IS FINALLY SUMMER!!!  

The news of the day…

While I sit at my keyboard typing and eating my Evolution Fresh Crystal’s Black Beans & Greens salad I am reflecting on my first interview about my challenge.

Two years ago, while doing my Living the Goodwill Life challenge of ONLY buying everything from Goodwill (I obviously like ONLY kind of challenges!) I met a wonderful local media star, Linda Thomas from KIRO.  I actually met quite a few local media stars that year but I’ve kept up with Linda via social media and when she heard about Starbucks & Stripes Forever (my quirky little name for this years challenge) she said “talk to me about it” so I did this morning.  I know the story won’t air for a couple of days but just talking to Linda about why I’m doing this challenge really brought out a lot of the underlying points I’d like to touch on this year, namely how much our local Seattle/Washington companies and organizations do in our world!  I’m excited to see what Linda pulled from our conversation but will leave that for The News Chick blog.Linda Thomas, The News Chick

After my eventful morning I spoke to a friend’s coworker (Rebecca) about the challenge and she mentioned going up to Roy Street Coffee and checking it out.  Roy Street Coffee, Starbucks, Beautiful Existence

The store came up because Rebecca and I both have big birthday parties this year and with me only eating/drinking everything from Starbucks she thought that it might be a good place to hold my party?  I had heard about Roy Street Coffee and passed by it a ton of times but never looked further until today.  After asking some questions of the barista, checking out the rental space areas and going over the 1/2 Starbucks 1/2 not menu I decided to get the event planners contact information and see if this could be my party place?!

Funny thing, the “definitions” of my challenge parameters came up in all my conversations this morning from the interview with Linda to my conversation with Rebecca and even with the barista who pointed out the “not-Starbucks” menu items.  I’m already finding that I can diversify my palate (and my checkbook) this year if I allow myself to buy or frequent places that sell or are “inspired” from Starbucks like Costco, Whole Foods or Roy Street Coffee.  Since I have already decided that I will buy Starbucks items from other retailers (like Whole Foods and Costco) because to me the bottom line is that I’m still giving my money to Starbucks, then at this point I think Roy Street Coffee is fair game this year too!

Tea PartyNow if I can just make sure that my “theme” of a bunch of mis-matched tea sets and pots, a make believe tree & garlands, a mouse & hare (not real) and a group of Mardi-Grais-style-Seattle-Hipster-Mamas frequenting their dwellings in June will be allowed at Roy Street Coffee… then my big birthday bash might be easier to plan than I thought?!

P.S.  Linda and Rebecca… watch for those invitations!