Monthly Archives: December 2016

What Are the Best and Worst Holiday Drinks?

The holidays are here, and with them the usual raft of parties and get-togethers, along with a slew of holiday-themed hot and cold drinks. From your morning coffee to your evening cocktail, here’s how the most common holiday drinks stack up.

Coffee Drinks

The Worst: When you want to really indulge, try Caribou Coffee’s Campfire Mocha, with a Best and Worst Holiday Drinkswhopping 640 calories, 34 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, and 67grams of sugar (about 17 teaspoons). That exceeds the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for both fat and sugar in just one morning drink!

Better: Craving that sweet combination of milk, sugar, coffee, and seasonal flavors? Try Starbucks’ Gingerbread Latte with Nonfat Milk (Grande). By downgrading from 2% milk to skim, this treat clocks in at 270 calories, seven grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 37 grams of sugar. And that even includes whipped cream!

Best: Save some money and be healthier by making your own fancy coffee drinks. Start with delicious Route 66 coffees and add flavored syrups and skim milk; your wallet and waistline will both thank you!

Cocktails

The Worst: Nothing says “Christmas Party” quite like eggnog. And no cocktail is as laden with fat as this scrumptious dessert-like drink, which is made with egg, sugar, and cream.

Better: Shape Magazine offers this recipe as a way to enjoy the taste of eggnog for just 194 calories and 11.5 grams of sugar:

Ingredients:

1 oz. bourbon
1oz. spiced rum
1 tbsp. maple syrup
2 oz. whole milk
4 oz. eggnog seltzer
1 tbsp. ground nutmeg for garnish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients, except the seltzer, in a blender and process until foamy and aerated (you can always froth by hand in cocktail shaker with vigorous shaking). Add crushed ice and swirl to chill. Strain into a large wine goblet and top with seltzer. Garnish with a grating of nutmeg.

Best: Try a holidaytini, a martini-style drink that combines vodka, cranberry juice, grenadine, orange juice, and lemon or lime juice. Or to take off the chill, add a splash of rum to your hot brewed tea with lemon to enjoy a hot toddy.

3 Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas for the Office

Holiday office gifts—whether a novelty mug of candy for a cubicle-mate or a lavish corporate gift basket—tend to rely heavily on unhealthy holiday treats. Chocolate kisses, homemade baked goods, smoked sausage: these delicious gifts can derail even the most determined healthy eater.

Healthy holiday gift ideas for the office

While most people enjoy a gourmet goodie once in a while, the holiday season tends to see an excess of unhealthy food. When giving office gifts this year, why not help colleagues stay healthy with these gift ideas?

  1. DIY Healthy Treats: Why fill that “I Hate Mondays” coffee mug with chocolate candies when you can create your own healthy trail mix? Mix nuts, legumes, seeds, dried fruit, and even a few treats like chocolate chips to create a high-energy, low- sugar snack.
  1. Healthy Baked Goods: You don’t have to give up baking for your friends and colleagues just to help them stay healthy. Healthy recipes abound—filled with suggestions to reduce fat and sugar and increase fiber and protein in baked goods. Check out these websites to get you started:

The Food Network’s Healthy Holiday Desserts: http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy/photos/healthy-holiday-baking.html

Greatist’s 47 Healthy(ish) Holiday Cookie Recipes You’ll Want to Hide From Santa: http://greatist.com/health/healthier-holiday-cookies

Cookie and Kate’s Baked Goods Recipes: http://cookieandkate.com/category/food-recipes/baked-goods/

Amy’s Healthy Baking: http://amyshealthybaking.com/

  1. Healthy Gift Baskets: For clients and other corporate associates, edible holiday gift baskets are almost expected. But why not break the mold this year with a healthier gift basket? If you have the time and manpower, you can create your own baskets using healthy goods like gourmet cooking oils, nuts, grains, and even some dark chocolate. There are also many companies that specialize in healthy gift baskets. Here are just a few:

It’s Only Natural Gifts: http://www.itsonlynaturalgifts.com/

The Healthy Basket: http://www.thehealthybasket.com/corporate.shtml

Olive and Cocoa: https://www.oliveandcocoa.com/category/healthful-food-gifts

 

 

 

What Were the Big Coffee Trends of 2016?

Here’s the buzz on America’s favorite beverage – coffee!

Plain Drip Coffee Consumption Is Declining.

According to the National Coffee Association’s 2016 National Coffee Drinking Trends (NCDT) report, generic coffee made in a standard drip coffeemaker is losing popularity in What Were the Big Coffee Trends of 2016?favor of gourmet coffee drinks, especially those make with espresso. Here are some stats from the report:

  • Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages has nearly tripled since 2008, according to the latest data from the 2016 NCDT.
  • Between 2008 and 2016, past-day consumption of gourmet coffee beverages soared from 13% to 36% among 18-to-24-year-olds, and from 19% to 41% for those 25-39.
  • For espresso-based beverages alone, the jump become 9% to 22% for the 18-24 group and 8% to 29% for those 25-39.

Millennials Are Leading the Charge.

As this blog has noted multiple times, Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) are at the forefront of many workplace and nutritional trends, and coffee is no exception. The NCDT report found that “Millennials are drinking coffee out-of-home, turning coffee consumption into a public expression of individuality.” Millennials also crave a connection to the products they purchase, and tend to be willing to pay more for fair-trade-sourced coffee.

A Looming Coffee Shortage?

From its first use in the sixteenth century to today, coffee has been a mainstay of many people’s days: especially their mornings. Many of us find it difficult to start the day without coffee’s caffeine and bitter flavor. A recent report, therefore, may strike terror in the hearts of many coffee drinkers. The Climate Institute recently released The Brewing Storm: The climate change risks to coffee, which suggests that wild coffee could be extinct by 2080. Want to make sure that our children and children’s children get to enjoy coffee too? Check out things we can do to mitigate climate change and issues for coffee growers.