By Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutritionist Blogger Jeni Tackett, RD, LD
Coffee houses can be a conundrum if you are watching what you eat. While they often have healthy options for meals and snacks, high-calorie coffee drinks and pastries can be your downfall, unless you take a few moments to really consider the menu.
One of my favorite places to chill is Cool Beanz Coffee House, a locally owned establishment in Rock Island. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and includes delicious seasonal entrees.
The owner, Annette Zapolis, is interested in nutrition and offers vegetarian and vegan options for those following a plant-based diet.
Watch the simple carbs and load up the veggies:
Instead of a scone or muffin, I ordered the seasonal hummus with roasted red pepper hummus, topped with red peppers, green onions and paprika. It is served with warm flatbread. The meal was comforting and nutritious!
Try other healthy options that feature plants, fish and fresh fruit:
- Oatmeal, full of fiber, which is served all day long and includes a choice of seasonal toppings such as almonds, peanut butter, and cinnamon.
- The Veg Out sandwich with portobella mushroom, Swiss cheese, tomato, spinach, and pesto. You can substitute a portobella mushroom for meat on any sandwich or salad.
- The Salmon Citrus Salad with warm salmon fillet on a bed of lettuce with parmesan, sliced almonds, fresh squeezed citrus, and garlic olive oil.
- The Southwest Chicken Salad includes a homemade black bean and corn salsa, tomato salsa, and parmesan cheese on a bed of spring lettuce.
Watch your side dish and beverage choice, because that can make or break your meal:
Fresh fruit is offered as a side for any meal with no additional cost. Choosing fresh fruit over chips means fewer calories, more fiber, and more vitamins and minerals.
Cool Beanz also offers healthy snacks such as pistachios and natural almonds.
Coffee house beverages are often a diet downfall. Consider regular and decaf coffee, hot tea, and fresh brewed iced tea, which are all calorie free. I choose orange blossom herbal iced tea which was naturally sweet and calorie free.
Slim down your coffee drinks:
To cut back on calories when you order a mocha or latte, order fat-free, almond, or soy milk.
You can also order sugar-free syrup, which has 0 calories compared to an ounce of syrup which adds 80 calories to your drink.
Many coffee drinks that come with whipped topping, regular syrup, and 2% milk have 400-500 calories. Be smart when you order your beverage at the coffee shop so that your drink does not sabotage your healthy lifestyle.
Check out Cool Beanz and many of our other great coffeehouses in the QC to enjoy friends, do a little work, and savor the day.
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity and Two Rivers YMCA. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|