Coffee Food Healthy Living

OK. But first, coffee. 

“Coffee is an acquired taste. I prefer tea.”

For years, that was the line I’d give to anyone who offered me coffee. At one point, not having coffee breath was the greatest benefit I could find to not drinking the bean juice. And that made me feel fancy. That is, until I started working 12 hour days in the Bloomingdale’s Studio and spending nights and weekends on music video and promotional shoots.

I’m a fan of natural remedies so I don’t take caffeine pills. I don’t drink soda. I don’t eat a ton of sugar. But, I needed something to help keep my energy high during the hours that I had to be “ON.”

Tony, my extremely organized, quirky right hand at Bloomie’s introduced me to coffee. He would routinely come into the Studio with a cup of Joe to start his day, and frantically run to get another to enjoy during his afternoon break. His preference was Starbucks…so naturally, my journey started there.

We carefully read through the menu,  eliminating any allergens and added sugar. I wanted coffee, but I “didn’t want it to taste like coffee.” Let’s just say, Tony’s patience was and still is a virtue.

I settled on a venti cinnamon dolce latte with coconut milk. No whipped cream. It was still really sweet and it certainly didn’t taste like the bean juice I’d had before. I didn’t know at the time you can control the number of pumps of syrup added by the barista. (BTW – My first taste was from my Granny’s cup at the age of 6. She drinks decaf…no sugar, no cream…need I say more?)

I drank the exact same latte for about 3 months, but I wanted something more natural with even less sugar. Plus, the latte set me back $5.15 per cup. As a conservative spender, coffee isn’t something I want to splurge on.

A really good friend is a health ethusiast and the creator of a gluten-free (BANGIN’!) all-purpose seasoning called PURE (I’ll share more in a future post). She’s also an avid Quiktrip coffee drinker. She always raved about how great the truck station coffee is. But as always, “I prefer tea.” Due to my frustration and lack of sleep, I decided to share my coffee journey and take her up on the QT suggestion.

So one morning about a year ago, I bought my first small cup of QT’s Original roast with one pump of non-dairy hazelnut creamer. It was so delicious! And I’ve been hooked since then.

Best of all, each small cup (12 oz) is only $1.50.

Though there are obviously a plethora of more upscale coffee brands, none have been able to beat or match QT. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option for coffee, try Quiktrip. I still drink coffee today. In addition to its physical health benefits, it lifts my mood, adds a little pep in my step and gets my mind cranking. I didn’t retire tea. I enjoy a cup of green tea with ginger, jasmine or lavender. Ok. But first, coffee. ☕️😋😊

Tip: Bring your own coffee cup! I recommend this for two reasons. First, it saves you $.20 at $1.30 per cup instead of $1.50. Second, QT cups (like Starbucks) aren’t insulated to keep your coffee warm for a long period of time. On a good day, my coffee in a QT cup will stay warm for 30 minutes maximum depending on the room temperature. I like to sip on my cup all morning. So I found a really great mug by Contigo.

My Morning Jolt:

1/2 cup Original roast

1/2 cup Vienna Roast

1/2 pump of non-dairy Hazelnut creamer

2 skinny red stir straws

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