Today I confess that I was addicted to Coffeemate Sugar Free French Vanilla. No other creamer would suffice. Not the fat free French vanilla, not the International Delight brand, not a generic. I gleefully added my delicious treat to my coffee each morning, full well knowing it wasn't the best thing to be doing.
Now, I am not one to fall into any sort of label when it comes to my food philosophy. I am not vegetarian because I like meat. I don’t eat a lot of red meat, but it has nothing to do with ethics. I don’t eat organic or go out of my way to purchase all organic items. Although I am starting to purchase more items especially from Costco when it makes sense price wise.
The things I try to do:
-eat whole grains
-eat fresh veggies and fruit (the fruit is always a work in progress)
-read labels and look for as little ingredients as possible
-avoid super processed stuff
-avoid artificial sweeteners (yes, the creamer is the hypocrisy here. I’ll get to that)
Then there are things I do occasionally that would be considered unhealthy in the healthy living blog world like drink regular milk, eat candy with HFCS, eat Doritos, have white pasta, to name a few, and I don’t fret about it. The only thing that was weighing on me was the creamer.
A few years back I started a rather tumultuous relationship with Diet Coke. Now, I am all for things in moderation, but I was starting my day with a 32 ounce fountain DC most days. Often I would have another diet soda in the afternoon. You know, the mid-afternoon doldrums when only a crisp, cold soda will keep you from banging your head repeatedly into your keyboard. It’s all about survival.
At some point, I decided that perhaps coffee would be a better start to my day. I have always enjoyed coffee, but never black. I found my groove with the sugar free French vanilla. When I weigh the Diet Coke with the coffee and creamer against each other, I am not sure one or the other is a clear winner. I know coffee has health benefits, but I am pretty sure the creamer was cancelling any of that.
I went for years knowing full well that my Coffeemate was my vice and I had to give it up eventually. I had given up soda pretty much cold turkey roughly 2 years ago, mostly because it wasn’t doing anything for me. (I still will have a fountain DC at a restaurant or with a sandwich if I amount for lunch occasionally.) Why the mental block with the creamer? It was a habit and I relied in it each morning. I looked forward to that first sip each day.
I’m not sure when it happened, but sometime last week I decided it was time. Time to say goodbye to my friend. This past weekend at Costco I picked up a large carton of Horizon half and half. I am still experimenting with my sugar situation, but I think I have landed on the right combination. Funny enough, the half and half is less expensive than the Coffeemate. We were paying just under $4.00 for a large container of it at Target. The carton of half and half, organic no less, from Costco was about the same price for more ounces. Not to mention that tablespoon for tablespoon, there is really only a 5 calorie difference between the sugar free Coffeemate and the half and half. (Granted that doesn’t take into account sugar, but I am working on my stevia/Truvia options).
I also came across this blog post that includes some homemade recipes for creamers. I haven’t tried any yet, but if you are looking for some options check it out.
Just like the occasional Diet Coke, I may have to go to the dark side with my beloved creamer every now and then. It’s all about balance after all.