Eat Smart · Feel Great

Starbucks: How to be Healthy Cheat Sheet

Speaking from the perspective of a bona fide caffeine addict, coffee is something us college students thrive on (unless you manage to get through the day without it and if that’s the case, God bless you).  Whatever the brand, whatever the beverage, we all have our trademark drink that helps us get through those 8 A.M. classes or through the 3 P.M. slump. On this campus, Starbucks is a beloved place for sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed college kids, with the line almost out the door whenever you visit. While the coffee may be strong, it’s important that you know which drinks will boost your brain and which will have you packing on the pounds and hitting a wall. Here are some of the things to look out for when sipping on your next Starbucks.

Say No to…Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème
Green Tea is known to boost your metabolism and be good for your overall health, but this drink is anything but healthy. This creamy and thick frap is heavy on the calories and lacking on the nutrients, with a size tall containing a whopping 290 calories. If anything, simply go for green tea, but if that doesn’t peak your interest, try something healthier.

Say Yes to…Shaken Iced Tazo Passion Fruit Tea
A fruity sweet treat that is perfect for the impending spring weather (hopefully!), the passion fruit tea drink is a great alternative in place of the green tea frap. It’s light enough, with a size tall only containing 60 calories, that it won’t weigh you down, but is great as a pick-me-up during a dull day when your energy levels are low.

Say No to…Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Whipped Cream
As delicious and sinfully good as this sounds, the only thing this drink will have you feeling is a sugar crash. Packed with sugary syrups and whipped cream, this drink is a definite no-no, especially with a calorie count that tops off at 290 for only a size tall! Skip the quick sweet fix and opt for something low-cal.

Say Yes to…Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte
A personal favorite, the iced skinny vanilla latte is one of the lowest calorie drinks Starbucks serves, and only contains 110 calories even at the biggest size! With more of an emphasis on coffee, you are sure to get the caffeinated pick me up you are searching for without the fast crash from sugary syrups and sauces.

Say No to…Chai Tea Latte
Another seemingly healthy choice, this drink is a calorie bandit in disguise. Though the drink itself isn’t so sweet, it still contains more sugar than two entire Snickers bar, and evens out at a whopping 340 calories. Save the extra trouble of trying to squeeze in extra gym time just to burn this off, and opt for a lower calorie option that will give you the energy surge you need.

Say Yes to…Teavana® Shaken Iced Passion Tango™ Tea
If you are still looking for a tea-based treat, opt for this iced passion tango tea, with 0 calories (two of our favorite words!) and 0 grams of fat. This drink is caffeine free (so beware if you need the energy), but it is a yummy and sweet treat that will help perk you up and finish your day strong.

Say No to…Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha
This deliciously creamy, chocolaty, and minty concoction sounds great to our ears, but is bad for both our brains and our stomachs. While we all deserve a nice treat, this drink is chock full of sugar syrups, milk, heavy cream, and of course, chocolate. It is certainly more of a dessert than an early morning grab and go. A grande alone has 410 calories and 20 grams of fat! Even worse, this sky-high “sundae” will pick you up in five minutes only to have you crash mid-morning in your anthropology lecture.

Say Yes to… Skinny Peppermint Mocha
While it may not have the same white chocolate appeal as the peppermint white chocolate mocha, this drink is a yummy treat that is still awesome to drink, but lower in calories (and side effects!). Made with sugar-free sauce and syrups, and light amounts of espresso, you’ll soon enough be sipping this and feeling the great affects of our favorite morning friend: caffeine.

Whether you are into the over-the-top sweet and savory concoctions Starbucks is known for, or are a laid-back and simple coffee and cream kind of person, it’s important to know what’s going into your body, especially at a time when school, sports, or even your social life is picking up. Whatever the case, always try to go low-cal, low-sugar, and pick something high in energy. If you can, always go for a simple coffee, but if you can’t resist a little bit of your sweet tooth, try to opt for some of the healthier drinks we offered up!


By Annie O’Sullivan

Image from dailygenius

Eat Smart

All Your Fall Favorites Reinvented

Fall is here! If you’re like me, you love everything about it—from the chilly weather where you can wear boots and sweaters, to the yummy treats that encompass the flavors of fall. One thing we’d like to forget, however, is that those flavors can come with a deal breaker—major calories. Except, they don’t have to. By simply swapping out a few ingredients for healthier alternatives, you can transform our favorite classic combinations into healthy ones. Check out some of these healthier recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth this fall.

Baked Stuffed Apples
A delicious recipe with all the great taste of an autumn apple pie, but with half the guilt!


  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup whole-grain cereal with dried fruit
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Trim the tops of the apples and scoop out the center and seeds of each apple. Rub the edges of the trimmed fruit with the lemon. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, cereal, sugar, and walnuts. Fill the apples with the cereal mixture. Set the apples upright in muffin tins and bake until tender and bubbly or for about 20 minutes.

Healthy PSL

A healthy twist on your favorite Starbucks drink just made it a whole lot more appealing (if that was possible). With half the calories but the same delicious taste, those 8ams are a little bit easier to get up for.


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 drops of liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
  • 8 ounces brewed coffee (or 1-2 shots of espresso)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon


  1. In a cup or saucepan, mix together almond milk and pumpkin. Cook on medium heat on the stove top or microwave for 30-45 seconds.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, spices, and sweetener and place in cup.
    Separately, use a blender to foam the milk — process for 30 seconds or until foamy.
  3. Pour coffee into a large mug; add the foamy milk mixture on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!

Clean Eating Pumpkin Ice Cream
While it may be getting chillier, ice cream is still always a sweet treat to have while going on hayrides, hitting the pumpkin patch, or just hanging with friends around a bonfire this fall. With this healthier version, you get the best of both worlds!


  • 4 medium bananas, sliced and frozen overnight
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice (no sugar added if purchased)


  1. Using a food processor, blend the bananas, pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice thoroughly. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 24 hours.

Pumpkin Muffins
This recipe is a combination of my two favorite things: fall flavored foods and breakfast! Though a little time consuming, these healthy muffins will give you a delicious breakfast and boost to help you through your day.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  3. Combine pumpkin and next 6 ingredients (pumpkin through egg white); add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon the batter into 18 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  4. Combine 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and brown sugar; sprinkle over muffins.
  5. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

By Annie O’Sullivan

Nutrition · Student Life

Drink This, Not That: Starbucks Edition

Every college student is familiar with the daunting idea of the freshman fifteen. Being away from Mom’s home-cooked meals and instead having 24/7 access to junk food galore leaves many students in a sticky situation. But what you might not know is that besides unlimited late night carb loading, many calories are consumed through beverages.… Continue reading Drink This, Not That: Starbucks Edition