Have Your Starbucks And Drink It Too!

If a non-morning person is forced to rush out the door before 8 A.M. without having received her life-giving java jolt, will the day even progress past 8:15?

One of philosophy’s burning questions, ladies!

The answer, of course, is Not. A. Chance.

But just when you thought your caffeine addiction had – maybe, possibly? – reached the breaking point where you actually considered quitting (yeah, right!)…think again. Recent findings compiled by Medical News Today suggest that your trusty “cuppa joe” is more than a crutch to keep you semi-alert during staff meetings. Numerous health benefits in coffee might just keep you breathing on this earth longer too.


  1. Let’s start with the basics: 1 serving of black coffee only contains about 2 calories. Of course, if you load up on refined sugars or half-and-half, the calorie count will increase (not to mention, the nutritional value will decrease). However, by substituting all-natural Stevia powder or sugar-free International Delight creamer (35 calories per serving), your health will stay on track without skimping on flavor.
  2. A study conducted at Pennsylvania’s University of Scranton found that coffee is the leading source of antioxidant consumption among Americans. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free-radicals in the body and, therefore, are essential for fighting cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, researchers stress that moderation is still key, as coffee may also cause anxiety, jitters, or high blood pressure (2 cups every morning should suffice).
  3. Another study conducted at UCLA found that coffee increases the body’s production of a protein called SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This protein keeps estrogen and testosterone at manageable levels, which consequently, can lower the risk of type-2 diabetes. In fact, researchers discovered that regular coffee drinkers are about 30% less likely to develop diabetes than non-coffee drinkers.
  4. According to the American Academy of Neurology, the abundance of caffeine in coffee may play some role in helping Parkinson’s disease patients control their movements. For those, who already suffer from the illness, caffeine can alleviate stiffness and fatigue. As for non-Parkinson’s sufferers, a moderate daily dose of coffee significantly reduces the risk of future development.
  5. And 1 final benefit of our beloved bean: according to the medical journal Hepatology, consuming 2 cups of coffee every day may prevent – or, at least, delay – cirrhosis of the liver (damage to the organ from excessive alcohol use) by 22%. Furthermore, although researchers haven’t yet pinpointed this, evidence shows that an ingredient in coffee lessens the chances of liver cirrhosis-related death by 66%.   

See…I knew there was an explanation for my inability to function before taking that first glorious sip. Seems legit.

5 Lighter Libations That Are Sure to Be All the Buzz

I like alcohol.

A lot.

In fact, whenever I’m at a restaurant, I find myself repeatedly diving for the wine list before even glancing at the menu. So, yes…I like alcohol. But here’s what I don’t like: those sugary syrups, artificial additives, and empty calories (that is, any caloric intake that lacks nutritional value) skulking around in my favorite bubbly beverages. What’s a girl to do?! Well, if you’re anything like me and can’t resist this forbidden fruit, hope has been restored. You don’t have to be a certified mixologist to successfully throw together a low-on-sugar-loaded-with-flavor cocktail in your own kitchen. And the following recipes will help you do just that.

(Guiltless) bottoms up!


Watermelon Mojito (approx. 95 calories):

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 cup watermelon chunks
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce stevia syrup*
  • 2-3 splashes club soda
  • 3 mint sprigs

Preparation:

  1. Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender.
  2. Muddle the mint, lime juice, and stevia syrup together in a large tumbler.
  3. Pour the rum on top of this mixture.
  4. Stir in the watermelon puree.
  5. Add just enough club soda to top off the tumbler.

*how to make stevia syrup: mix 5 tsp. stevia powder with 2 cups water

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(Image courtesy of tastykitchen.com)

Peach Bellini (approx. 120 calories): 

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tsp. stevia powder
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes
  •  1 ounce Prosecco

Preparation:

  1. Puree the peach slices and stevia together in a blender.
  2. Add the Prosecco and ice cubes into the blender and puree with the peaches.
  3. Pour this mixture into a champagne flute.

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(image courtesy of tastykitchen.com)

Green Sangria (approx. 115 calories):

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 ounce melon liqueur
  • 4 slices green apple
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 4 slices kiwifruit
  • 2 slices lime
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 2-3 splashes club soda

Preparation:

  1. Combine the wine, liqueur, and all the fruit slices together in a pitcher.
  2. Refrigerate this mixture for approximately 4 hours.
  3. Pour the chilled sangria into a wine glass.
  4. Add just enough club soda to top off the glass.

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(image courtesy of realhealthyrecipes.com)

Vodka Iced Tea (approx. 80 calories):

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce Firefly sweet tea vodka
  • 1/2 cup sparkling lemon-lime water
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes

Preparation:

  1. Fill the bottom of a mason jar with the ice cubes.
  2. Pour in the sparkling water and lemon juice.
  3. Add the vodka and stir this mixture together thoroughly.

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(image courtesy of craftedpours.com)

Mixed Berry Daiquiri (approx. 145 calories):

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free cranberry juice

Preparation:

  1. Puree the berries, lime juice, and cranberry juice together in a blender.
  2. Add the rum into the blender and puree with the berries.
  3. Pour this mixture into a large tumbler.

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(image courtesy of livebetteramerica.com)