Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Too Much of A Good Thing

Since I moved offices months ago (away from the caf that served my beloved 2 fried egg / 4 slices of bacon breakfast) I'm forever in pursuit of the next good thing. And by good I mean "contains lots of protein and a reasonable amount of fat". Cuz I find, if I don't get it at breakfast, I will continue to crave it for the rest of the day.

It's been harder than you might imagine - working in downtown TO as I do - to find a decent alternative. Sure, I'm fussy. Yes, the old breakfast was perfection. But really...

So imagine my delight yesterday morning, while getting my daily double dry extra hot short skim cappuccino (not a joke, sadly), on discovering a new, good option. In short, it's oatmeal with things thrown in and a latte with protein powder. Natch, I customized. It is beyond me to accept the food the way it's offered. Then, pleased as I was to have a lovely, healthy choice, I added up the calories (you know I do this) and was rather surprised by the tally.

Here's the way I got breakfast (conservative-style):

Oatmeal - 120 calories
Pat Butter - 30 calories
Pinch Brown Sugar - 15 calories
Nuts and Seeds - 100 calories
Tall Latte (Skim), extra shot espresso, no sugar - 100 calories
Protein Powder - 20 calories

Yeah, that's almost 400 calories. While delicious, satisfying and healthful, it's not exactly a calorie bargain.

Now here's how they wanted me to eat (OTT-style):

Oatmeal - 120 calories
Packet Brown Sugar - 50 calories
Nuts and Seeds - 100 calories
Dried Fruit - 100 calories
Tall 2% Vanilla Latte with Protein Powder - 200 Calories

Yum - 570 calories of (mainly) sugar for breakfast. And they're touting this as healthy eating in moderation. In truth, by comparison to most other offerings at Starbucks it is health food.

My point: You can't trust the conglomerates to protect your waist-line. But you can bet your sassy ass that the advertising will encourage you to do so.


  1. 400 calories seems very good to me!

  2. Wow - is this from Starbucks? I tried their new's ok. I think I'm better off with cereal or making something. I've been loving eggs so much recently!

  3. What does double dry mean? Your gestalt is more sophisticated than mine.

  4. Yeah. Seems like most consumers are more than happy to assume something advertised as "healthy" actually IS healthy. And I guess everyone has different standards, but 400 calories of sugar to start the day sounds pretty ill-advised to me.

  5. I never eat breakfast, so this is all lost on me. Except the coffee!

    You gots to protect yer own, girl!

  6. i definitely am all about big meals earlier in the day. i once read this: eat a king's breakfast, queen's lunch and a pauper's dinner.

  7. My nutricion says that I can't pass the 300 calories on breakfast, but I must take it... so I try to do my best.


  8. Wendy: I'm not implying it's bad - though it's a bit high for my liking. Esp. since it wasn't, like, a croissant :-) My real issue is with the 570 calorie version. And not cuz it's so evilly high in cals but because it's so unbalanced while being touted as the healthiest thing.

    Please Sir: Maybe the offering at Canadian Starbucks is better? (I know that there are lots of diffs between the items in the US locations and Can locations cuz I've been to many in both countries.) Eggs really are excellent. They give so much energy and ballast and they are tasty.

    Sorry, Miss C. It would have been more accurate to say "double shot of espresso, dry..." Oh, and to clarify, dry means very little (well, technically, no) milk and lots of foam. I like a little milk. I have to feel the weight of the cup to know if it's the perfect amount. I know, I'm like a sitcom character...

    Hey Sal: The 400 cal version was actually pretty balanced, if slightly carbalicious. It was the "Starbucks" version at almost 600 calories that was really suspect. (Having said that, I bet 400 of the 600 cals are actual sugar...)

    E: No breakfast! How do you spin on an empty tummy??

    Emily: That is sound advice. I've heard that too and I like the saying a lot.

    Seeker: You work with a nutritionist? Cool. You should write about it.

  9. totally with you on the protein and fat for breakfast. Luckily I dont't need any caffeine hit so my breakie is usually two eggs and some cheese thrown in for a good measure. Of course on Sundays I'd go for a full fry-up : bacon, eggs, sausages, mushroom and tomato. Yes, all of it! Yum.

  10. Try asking for double espresso macchiatto which means "spotted coffee" The coffee being spotted with foam. If you like a latte, you say Latte macchiatto, Milk spotted with coffee.

    As for oatmeal etcetera; what's wrong with 2 tim tams and a cadbury's chocolite?

    ps, I have been forcing down the inside of a piece of multigrain toast with butter and vegemite, But it's tough!

  11. Songy: The weekend version sounds delish! And how virtuous that you aren't addicted to the caf.

    Miss C: Happy to share! You should try it. It's the best...

    Hammie: I love espresso macchiatos. They are my after dinner drink (on Fridays only!). Cadbury's is totally fair game for breakfast food :-) Oh, and on the topic of my Aussiphilia, I love vegemite. And Marmite. I'm like the only North American who can stand the stuff :-)