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Healthy Habit: Guiltless and Enjoyable Morning Drink

The 12 days of Christmas are over, so it's time to replace them with a dozen healthy habits. Nutritionist Alexa Fishback, author of The Daily Fix, has come up with 12 habits for a healthy lifestyle that sticks. Today, she takes on your morning caffeine fix. Stay tuned for 11 more tips, and be sure to enter our Get Fit For 2009 giveaway for a chance to win a personalized nutrition plan created by Alexa, along with many other amazing goodies.

Now, for Alexa's first healthy habit:
When it comes to long-term health and weight management, your everyday habits matter most! Chances are you have a favorite a.m. caffeine routine — but is it a healthy habit or a noxious fix? Feel free to imbibe any of the following every day:

  • Regular or flavored brewed coffee (black)
  • Espresso
  • Americano (espresso topped with hot water)
  • Misto or cafe au lait with skim or lowfat milk (half regular coffee, half steamed milk)

Learn your other options when you


  • Latte with skim or lowfat milk (a shot or two of espresso that has been poured into a cup filled with steamed milk and then topped off with foamed milk)
  • Cappuccino with skim or lowfat milk (usually one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk, and one-third foamed milk — more foam than a latte)
  • Macchiato with skim or lowfat milk (an espresso with a small amount of milk on top)
  • Tea (plain black, green, white, and herbal teas; hot and iced)

The goal is to avoid sweetening your drink, but if you have to, try using just one teaspoon of real sugar (it only has 20 calories) and forget the chemicals that come with artificial sweeteners. Also, try sprinkling your drink with spices available at many coffee joints. Cinnamon and nutmeg add sweetness and flavor to your favorite brew without any calories.

If your drink is not on this list, enjoy it every now and then . . . on a snowy Saturday morning or as a special treat when chatting with a friend, just not every day.

For more tips, keep reading FitSugar, or check out Alexa Fishback's book, the The Daily Fix.


Join The Conversation
helloimkaren helloimkaren 8 years
I love coffee and do use artificial sweetner in my coffee...I know it's kinds bad...I cant help it, Splenda is awesome! creamer.
myystque myystque 8 years
I love coffee and enjoy it even more with the French Vanilla creamer...but if that's not available I'll take mine black.
lostbronte lostbronte 8 years
Ha ha, I thought that tea would surely be first on the list, as it has no calories (without milk and sugar) and beneficial antioxidants and is drunk by so many people around the world.
NdHebert NdHebert 8 years
Swammer: A cafe au lait is half coffee and half steamed milk. A latte is espresso and steamed milk. Nutritionally a cafe au lait has less calories, but if thats your only source of milk or calcium, go ahead and get that latte! Its only a few more ounces of milk.
rhimarie rhimarie 8 years
At the coffee shop I used to work at we had a great drink, pour a hot shot of espresso over honey and then top it off with cold press and a little soy milk. It's basically an iced latte with honey, but the hot shot adds more coffee flavor!
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
I have coffee every morning with a dash of whole milk, two tsp of brown sugar and sprinkled cinnamon and I like it and I am sticking with it.
Swammer Swammer 8 years
Just curious-- what's the difference, nutritionally, between cafe au lait and a latte? (assuming both are made with skim milk?) I tend to have regular coffee with lowfat soy milk, but during the holidays I opt for a dash of egg nog :)
NdHebert NdHebert 8 years
Why do we have to buy a book to know that green tea/black coffee is good for you. And the sugary lattes are not. This is common sense! (My drink is an Americano with a little bit of soy milk)
Greentea1203 Greentea1203 8 years
I love the smell of coffee but not the taste. I just stick with green tea.
gooniette gooniette 8 years
Coffee with unsweetened soy milk and honey or agave nectar...mmmm. Or green tea, but I don't like sweeteners in my tea anymore.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
I really dislike coffee and always have. The only way I've ever thought it was semi-tolerable was if it's iced black coffee. I love tea, though. Whenever I go to Starbucks (not often at all), I just get an iced or hot tea. I've tried their tea lattes even, but tea + milk is just not a good idea. Plus I can't justify spending that much on a drink. If I'm thirsty I always have water with me anyway.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
i usually stick to non fat lattes or an occasional caramel macchiato
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I've already removed unnecessary sugar from my diet (what I eat). In the mornings, I have coffee with unsweetened soy milk. I like it.
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
I like my coffee with some fat free milk in it, but I don't refill the milk as I top off my cup through out the morning. Mostly black coffee for me. I hate a too sweet coffee. Sometimes a good latte is fantastic but not every day, yucky.
superfoxml superfoxml 8 years
I only drink coffee if it's black. I hate how sugar and creamer muddle the flavor of a good cup.
VicVicVictooriaa VicVicVictooriaa 8 years
honey and milk in coffee..that sounds interesting, i must try...immediately well tomorrow morning.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I hate coffee. Ick.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I think SweetLeaf was the brand I liked.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I have a skim milk cafe au lait with about 3/4 tsp sugar. I tried Truvia but thought it was way too sweet and tasted more like aspartame than other stevia-based sweeteners than I've tried in the past.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
Black coffee. Yum!
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
I usually use a splash of milk and a teaspoon honey in my coffee. I have to have my coffee sweet, and I find honey does the job a lot better than sugar.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
Spectra I could send you some of my packets - the box has like 140 packets. And to me the packets are huge. But maybe if you email coca-cola or whoever is marketing Truvia and ask for a sample they'll send you some to try.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
They don't sell Truvia in any stores by me yet, so I'd have to order it online to try it. I'm reluctant to go ahead and order it without trying it first. I wonder if I asked the company to send me a few packets to try if they'd do that for me. Because if I like it, I'll definitely buy it.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
I bought a box of Truvia. It's okay just SUPER DUPER SWEET, no aftertaste that I can taste). A half a packet id that will sweeten an entire 8 ounces of coffee.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I drink coffee every day, but I put a little bit of fat-free French Vanilla creamer in it and Splenda. I know it's probably not exactly the healthiest thing out there, but I like my coffee sweet and one teaspoon of sugar ain't gonna cut it. I'm going to be keeping my eye out for Truvia and if it's cheaper than any other stevia I've seen (and doesn't taste like licorice), I'll try replacing my Splenda with that.
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